Message for the Snow White Project
People with heavy impairments are often thought of as being incapable of acquiring language skill so that they are limited to use of only a few words and understanding of just simple terms, However; to the contrary I discovered that they actually possess a wealth of language within. I would like the whole world to know this fact.
It is not a special or exceptional case finding. My experience tells me it applies to all patients.
This fact might be difficult to accept especially for the persons who have been caring for them earnestly, but I must emphasize that this is the fact and the truth should not be ignored.
Probably it is no exaggeration to say that we must totally re-evaluate our common sense regarding impairments. I believe that when this fact is widely admitted as common knowledge by society, medical, welfare and educational services for impaired children and adults will be completely different from the current systems.
By Yasuyuki Shibata,
Profile of Yasuyuki Shibata
He was born in Oita prefecture in 1958. He is a Professor of Department of Elementary Education, Faculty of Human Development, Kokugakuin University
He graduated from Tokyo University, majoring in Educational Psychology in 1981. After obtaining an MA from the same University he started work at Kokugakuin University in April 1987. There he met Professor Akiyoshi Nakajima, who established the Institute of Education for multiple impairments. Since then he worked on practical studies regarding heavy and multiple impaired children under Nakajima. In order to bring initiative out of heavy impairment he created his original educational tools. During this activity he discovered that they have a rich linguistic world.
Since 1981 he had a relationship with the youth mental deficiency class in Machida city. His goal was to help those people to become independent in their local society. His success to draw words from a heavy speech impaired member triggered him to study new ways to listen to inner voices of multiple impairments and it enabled him to assist them better.
“Everyone Has Words - A Mental World of Heavy Impaired People” Published by Okumura Books
(Hardcover Feb. 2012) 2520 yen