Deaf college graduate dreams to be a fashion artist

Yofuko Shimizu looks forward to
working this April after graduation.

Yofuko Shimizu (22), a born Deaf native from Omura City in Nagasaki Prefecture, a part of the southern island of Japan, was one of the graduates at Tsukuba University of Technology in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture in March. She will start working for an apparel company in Tokyo on April 1.

She has started to run for the dream, saying, "Because I am Deaf, there is something that I can understand. I want to accomplish something related to the fashion".

Because her mother got rubella during pregnancy, Yofuko has been born Deaf. She was willing to transfer to a hearing junior high school from the prefecture school for the deaf in Omura city when she was a 9th grader.

She was enrolled to Tsukuba University of Technology after leaving a hearing high school in the spring of 2006, majoring in the general design course.

At the university, she started up a fashion circle, and held the fashion show in the university festival every year. Also she and her classmates exhibited their works titled "Interior materials from a viewpoint of fashion" in Tokyo this February before the graduation.

Yofuko says, "Four years ago when I was admitted to the university, I did not know clearly what I wanted to do. Now I graduated and can say it was good for me to study at the university".

She determined to find a job related to fashion which has been her main interest. Her job hunting was difficult even though with the use of the hearing aid.

Yofuko told to her mother last autumn, "I want to appreciate that I was born Deaf. If I were hearing, I would never have had met many wonderful friends".

"There is no hierarchical relationship between the persons with disabilities. You must judge who the person is inside, not from the look. Some day I want to be an artist who expresses something".

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