My daughter, Nami, and I both work at Mirairo, Inc. She suggested that I should join the company. Nami is one of the founding members of Mirairo. She joined Toshiya Kakiuchi, a wheelchair user and then a university student, in starting up the company. He leads the company as president with a corporate philosophy “Barrier Value”. We believe that those who have experienced barriers in their lives have unique values they can bring to society. Their expertise can be a great resource for removing those barriers and making society more inclusive.
Mirairo specializes in providing consultancy on universal designs to both the private and public sectors so that they can improve the accessibility of their services, products or facilities. One of the pillars of our work is to promote “Universal Manners”. We are advocating for basic manners to respect diversity in society and to communicate with one another with mutual understanding and empathy. I often give talks on “Universal Manners”.
My very first talk
Before joining Mirairo, I had never talked in public and wasn’t sure if I could do it. Nami, however, insisted that I should give it a try. “There are certain things only you can talk about because of your experience as a wheelchair user. I want you to share your experience with others.”
Encouraged by her words, I started my career as a lecturer for training on Universal Manners. I gave my first talk to the staff of leisure facilities. It was only fifteen minutes long, but I put so much time and efforts into preparation. I had never been so nervous and anxious as I was. After my talk, however, I found myself surrounded by many participants. They wanted to share their feelings with me.
Events which may be considered tragedies could lead us to appreciate happiness which we might not have recognized otherwise. They are all interrelated and inevitable. That’s why we can look past sadness and think of what the future brings. For me, this is part of the value I have experienced since I became a wheelchair user.