Disability Disasters Japan Welfare

Mudslides in Japan deprive disabled people of a place to work

The mudslide disaster in the Izusan area of Atami City has deprived disabled people of a place to live. The Shinzo Megumikai Community Workshop in Izusan survived the disaster, but its premises have been closed to the public.

From The Chunichi Shimbun

July 10 2021

ATAMI – The mudslide disaster in the Izusan area of Atami City has deprived disabled people of a place to live. The Shinzo Megumikai Community Workshop in Izusan survived the disaster, but its premises have been closed to the public. The 17 cognitively , intellectually and physically disabled adults who attended the workshop have lost their base of operations and are now waiting at home. On July 9, the facility submitted a request to the prefectural government, asking for support to help them get back to their daily lives.

 The facility opened in 1994. The facility was opened in 1994, and has been taking care of the cleaning of the Izusan area, printing booklets and making eco-bags. It was closed on the day of the mudslide because the city had issued an evacuation notice for the elderly and disabled. Since then it has become a resting place for emergency services.

The burden on the parents is increasing as the children stay at home. They say, “We ask relatives to help us, and we take turns watching over them, but they go out alone. Sayoko Yamane, 40, who is in charge of service management, said, “Many of the parents are elderly, and it’s difficult for them to take on the responsibility at home that they used to give off at the workshop. It’s also a way for them to learn social skills,” she said.

The letter of request was submitted by Ms. Yamane, Ms. Hamako Miwa, Chairwoman of the Prefectural Workplace Federation “Wa”, and Ms. Hiroko Suzuki, Chairwoman of the Shizuoka Branch of “Kyosaren”, a social welfare corporation with which workplaces throughout Japan are affiliated. Yoshinori Masuda, Director General of the Disabled Persons Support Bureau, who received the letter of request at the prefectural office, said, “We will collect information. I hope you will consult with us positively”.

On the 7th, the Atami City Office for Welfare of the Disabled called for cooperation from workplaces in the city to secure a place where the Shinzo Megumi Workshop can temporarily use. At present, three of them are prepared to lend part of their facilities.

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