Tokyo Support Center for the DeafBlind established to encourage social participation


On May 27, 2009, the Tokyo Support Center for the DeafBlind was established in Taito Ward, Tokyo. It aims to support the persons unable to hear and see, for social participation.

In the center, training to read the character on the personal computer with an electronic equipment and to learn the fingering braille, fellowship gatherings, etc. will be provided.

Entrusted by the Tokyo government, an incorporated nonprofit organization, called the "Tokyo Friendship Society of the DeafBlind" operates the center.

The staff is enthusiastic, "We are eager to make the center that all problems faced by the DeafBlind and their families can be solved".

There are about 22,000 DeafBlind individuals nationwide, and it is estimated that Tokyo has about 2000 according to the Tokyo Friendship Society. However, as far as the Center understands there are only about 100 in the capital.

Last year Dr. Satoru Fukushima, a professor of the University of Tokyo Advanced Science and High Technology Research Center, appealed to Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo governor for the distressful state of the DeafBlind.

Fukushima, an advisor to the Center, completely lost not only the sight but also hearing at the age of 18. He says he did not feel like communicating with his family for a time being.

"Mother invented the fingering braille that greatly helped me getting out of the dark. I want fellows to get back alive again and also acquire the communication skills at the center".

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