Deaf civil servant in Fukuoka Prefecture sets work goal from his own experience

July 28, 2014

Suzuki Reio (鈴木玲雄), 28, changed his employment from private enterprises, and is currently working as a government official in the Kitakyushu city office in Fukuoka Prefecture, a part of Japan's southern island, in April, this year.

Suzuki, Deaf since the age o two, is responsible to issue a resident card and check work, etc. in the citizen division of the Yahata-higashi ward office in the city.

Although Suzuki is able to catch the conversation in meeting with the use of a hearing-aid, he understands better when lipreading.

He attended the Prefectural Oral School for the Deaf preschool program in Shiga Prefecture where he and his family lived those days. When he came home everyday, his mother taught him hard how to pronounce 50 Japanese sounds.

Because of his parents' belief that their Deaf son could be able to adapt for severe environment after leaving school, Suzuki was enrolled the local elementary school, and when he was a third grader his family moved to  Fukuoka Prefecture.

At the time, every time his friend said something, Suzuki behaved as if he understood it more often. He became unable to follow the complicated contents of a lesson or conversation with a friend at the high school.

Suzuki asked his mother, "Why did you bear me halfway?" She answered, "I think it was fate that you were born halfway, not perfectly. I want you to become a bridge for those who hear and those who are hearing loss."

Suzuki learned sign language from these days. He started social activities, such as a sign language theatrical company, the Fukuoka Welfare Association of the Deaf.

He majored in disability and welfare at the university, and was employed at the private enterprises which has a deep understanding to a person with disability.

However, he thought, "I would like to work related to the better environment for persons with disabilities and infrastructure improvement," and he opted for change of occupation.

Suzuki has set a goal to build the environment like barrier-free society where people carry out social participation regardless of hearing ability."

Japanese source:

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