"Easy Cooking Class" for persons with disability to be instructed by Deaf woman in Aichi Prefecture

Rie Shibata (right) cuts carrot thrust into nail of cutting board by one hand.
(photo: http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2010080202000180.html)

A day-care service facility in a suburb of Toyokawa City, Aichi Prefecture is preparing an "Easy Cooking Class With One Hand" for persons whose one side has become paralyzed.

The lecturer will be Rie Shibata (20), one of the facility staff. She is Deaf and enthusiastic about a new project, saying "I want to encourage people who have lost self-assurance, to enjoy what they can".

The cooking class was experimentally opened in July. The woman with a paralyzed right hand cut the carrot, which was thrust into the nail struck back of the cutting board, with the kitchen knife gripped by one hand. She made a set of boiled vegetable in about two hours and showed the smile to the dish after a long time.

Rie went to a vocational training school for one year after she graduated from Toyohashi School for the Deaf, and is a licensed cook.

Masaaki Otsuka, the chief director of the facility, who met Rie and was impressed with her serious, earnest attitude. He thought, "Her positive attitude will surely encourage persons paralyzed. Let her teach the cooking class".

Rie, who was puzzled at the offer, visited the facility and became interested. "I can also live just like any able-bodied person if a little help is given though I am Deaf. The person with a disability must be the same".

Rie cooks and writes down what is necessary for the cooking every day. She says of her aspiration, "I want to increase something more that can be done with one hand everyday".

The "Easy Cooking Class With One Hand", offered in the facility every day, is scheduled to start on September 1. The staff will help Rie with interpreting and note-taking.

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