April 28, 2016
Hayase Kumi (left) and Kentaro
A lecture meeting was held on April 24 in commemoration of the third anniversary of the Prefecture Support Center established at Saga-shi, Saga Prefecture in Japan's southern island. A Deaf couple, Kentaro Hayase and his wife Kumi, were a guest speaker with the theme of "Our message: Never give up."
Kentaro had dreamed of becoming an Olympic judoist or an exercise leader in NHK's TV program for Children. Instead he became a teacher of a school for the deaf, and later a sign language lecturer on NHK program through an encounter with the program producer who visited the school. "I have served for eight years as a sign language lecturer for NHK."
There was the law that a Deaf/deaf person were not allowed to get qualified as a pharmacist. Kumi remembered what her mother said to her: "The law is made by a human being. It is possible to change it." Kumi kept not giving up and challenging. She carried on the signature activity with Deaf groups and interpreters in order to revise the national qualification examination for pharmacist for a Deaf/deaf person. After the legal revision was made three years later, Kumi became the first Deaf qualified pharmacist. She said, "The youth don't know the time when a Deaf person had a lot of restriction including a driver's license."
The Deaf couple said together, cheering the young audience, "When you begin something, ask yourself whether you want to do it or don't, not whether you can or can't."