By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from NHK
June 13 2021
KANAGAWA – An event to celebrate new adults with disabilities, which had been postponed due to the new coronavirus, was held in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The event, which is separate from the coming-of-age ceremony organized by the city, has been held every year for the past six years by a group of parents of children with disabilities.
In July 2016, nineteen people with disabilities were killed at a care home in Sagamihara City.
It was originally scheduled to be held in January, but due to the effects of the new coronavirus, it was delayed by five months and was held on the 13th. 30 new adults with physical and intellectual disabilities participated in the ceremony, dressed in formal wear and suits.
After their names were called out one by one, the five representatives of the new adults went up on stage and expressed their gratitude, sometimes choking up as they said, “We have grown up under the watchful eyes of many people.
Next, a slide show was shown of the growth of the participants, and they reflected on the joys and hardships they have experienced over the past 20 years.
A female newcomer who participated in the ceremony said, “It was a wonderful coming-of-age ceremony, and it made me want to keep working hard.”
The woman’s mother said, “It’s thanks to everyone around me that I’ve grown so much. I want her to work hard in her own way and become a member of society with the help of the people around her.”