My Whole Life’s Treasure

It’s been five months staying in Japan, I’ve settled down, I’ve found my own way to survive from homesick but I have to go back to my home country. I think I’m not ready because now, Japan feels like home for me. I’m so thankful to AUE for giving me this chance to study and learn many things I’ve never experienced before.

Before coming to Japan, I’ve never thought that I want to come back here to study about special education. I was thinking about US to study special education especially inclusive education but now Japan changes my mind. I’m amazed with the advanced technology to support people with disabilities in Japan. There are so many accessibility everywhere in Japan. I always observe my surrounding everywhere I go. I’ve found guiding block everywhere in train station, sidewalk, or inside the public building and it really works and helpful for blind people. Japanese train system and public buses are highly wheelchair friendly. I saw many train station staff and bus driver are kindly help people with wheelchair to get in. There is a marked wheelchair accessible car with wide door and spaces for wheelchair in train and bus. I used to take bus every weekend and I often see people travelling alone with wheelchair without any trouble. That would be hard to travel and take public transportation especially bus for people with wheelchair without personal assistance in Indonesia. I love the fact that every single elevator I saw had a priority button for wheelchair users. When there was more than one elevator, one was usually marked ‘’priority’’. I love public toilet in Japanese train station, schools, museum and other public places. The toilet is accessible for wheelchairs and blind people. They provide wide and well-designed toilet for wheelchair users, complete with the ‘’help button’’. I also found braille in every Japanese toilet everywhere. Recently, I also found that many electronic appliances like iron, laundry machine, drying machine, and others have braille to help blind people. The other thing is that Japan provide special parking area for people with disabilities in many places. I think I’ve not discovered all the accessibility but I’m sure there are still many kind of accessibilities for people with disabilities in Japan. I always take some pictures of Japanese accessibility and in my return to my home country, I want to tell and share what I’ve found in Japan to my special education friends, teachers, and everyone to raise awareness on accessibility for people with disabilities. I’d also love to share what I’ve learnt to my government so they can make better accessibility and policy for people with disability in Indonesia.

I’ve visited some special education school such as hiiragi, miai, okazaki, and komaki special-needs school. I’ve observed and learn about their curriculum, facilities, teaching-learning process, and their advanced technology to assist students with special needs. One of my favourite special school is miai. In my opinion, miai school is an ideal school for autism. I also interested in a humanoid robot named ‘’pepper’’ in this school. I’d really love to have such school in Indonesia. Interacting with Japanese special needs children was really an unforgettable and impressive experience. In special education department, I also join a therapy session for children with special needs in the evening every Monday. I was really happy because they weren’t afraid of strangers like me at the first meeting. They were really nice and friendly.

Outside my academic living in AUE, I promote Indonesian cultures through some events. I was joining Kariya International Festival on December and doing some performances with my Indonesian team. I was invited in some events to give presentation about Indonesian cultures that has been one of my dream when I was studying abroad. There was a lot of chances and experiences that shape me to be the person that I’m now. Studying abroad in Japan play an important role to makes who I am today. It makes me have wider perspective in seeing the world and what’s inside, the good and the bad one. Last but not least, I’d like to say many thanks to everyone supporting my study here in Japan. (Tha)