Deaf office worker winning in word processing skills at Abilympics in Yokohama City

Eri Takahashi says, "I am glad that my effort has paid off".

The 32nd national technical skills competition for persons with disabilities (the Abilympics) was held for three days from October 15 in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Eri Takahashi (33), who works for the Canon Inc. Utsunomiya office in the Utsunomiya City Kiyohara Industrial Estate in Tochigi Prefecture, won the third place in the item of word processing skills.

Eri, a born-Deaf woman, uses a hearing aid and does lipreading. She was recommended by the superior in July, 2010 to participate in the local prefecture Abilympics. She was enlisted in the item of word processing skills that required for the proficiency of the operation of the computer software to make and edit documents.

Eri unexpectedly won the championship, and since then she kept practicing several hours every day in preparation for the national competition in Yokohama City.

At the competition, 46 best experts with disabilities who were chosen from across the nation. The agenda was to produce a letter of invitation, two table charts, and five English sheets with the computer in the given time.

Eri hardly slept because of the tension the day before, and the tremble of the hands did not stop immediately before the competition on that day.

However, Eri recalls with wry smiles, saying that she was surprised at the difficulty of the agenda and a lot of work required to be completed in the time, which, on the contrary, made her concentrate on the work".

She says that she saw the competitors were very serious and highly skilled, who gave her courage. "I will not use any excuse because I have a disability. I feel it is very important that any person should work with commitment".

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