DeafBlind Student passes college entrance examination in Tokyo

Mori Atsushi (second from the right) and his mother Sadako visit his teacher RAISAKA Hiroyuki (left) and HIKIDA Akio, principal at the School for the Blind in Tokyo.

MORI Atsushi (19), a born-DeafBlind student, passed the entrance exam for the social welfare course of Japan Lutheran College (Mitaka City, Tokyo ) on December 24, 2010. He is the first born-DeafBlind person to be enrolled in a college/university in Japan.

He would step forward with the help from the surroundings by one step, saying that "I want to serve DeafBlind fellows like myself in the future" though the difficult problem in the future such as securing of the interpreter remains.

Mori said to the teachers, "I was confident in myself in passing the exam" when he visited the Tsukuba University Special Support School for the Blind in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo.

He had kept wishing strongly to learn welfare at a university, delaying graduating for one year. He prepared himself such as he attended the class for the examinees with disability in summer. Also Raisaka taught him how to do well in interviewing at the school.

His mother had his son perceive the "surrounding world" by repeatedly touching all. He was transferred from Gifu Prefecture to Tokyo when he was a fifth grader. He studied and was trained repeatedly while living in the dormitory since the junior high school years.

Mori took the recommendation entrance exam of a university in November, but did not pass due the tension. Neither he passed the public recommendation entrance exam at the Japan Lutheran College on December 3. Still, he challenged the self-recommendation entrance exam of the college again. This time he felt he could finally pass.

However, Mori would always need the interpreter and the helper for the daily living and the lectures. Securing the helper fluent in sign language and its cost, etc. are difficult problems.

KANEKO Kazuo, the president of the university, said, "It is true in fact that we haven't experienced with such a student and that our knowledge is also limited to help this student. We expect a continuing process of trial and error together".

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