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Satoshi Fukushima

Associate Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo : Japan

Education / Welfare for Person with Disabilities / Accessibility

Born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture in 1962. After withdrawing from the Doctoral Course in Humanities (Pedagogy) at the Graduate School of Tokyo Metropolitan University in 1992 due to expiration of the time limit for earning credits, Satoshi worked as a special researcher at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science until March 1994. He then worked as a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Tokyo Metropolitan University from July 1996 through November 1996, and as an associate professor at the Faculty of Education, Kanazawa University from December 1996 through March 2001. He has worked in his current position since April 2001.

Five months after birth, Satoshi suffered from an eye disease that caused him to lose his sight in his right eye at three and his left eye at nine. In 1980, the year after he advanced into the high school division of the School for the Blind affiliated with Tsukuba University, he lost his hearing due to idiopathic deafness. The following year, his mother Reiko devised “finger brail” using 6 fingers from both hands. In 1983, he passed the entrance examination for the Faculty of Humanities, Tokyo Metropolitan University, thereby becoming the first deafblind student to enroll in a university.

At present, in addition to working as a university faculty member, he focuses on activities to promote social welfare for the disabled, and the deafblind in particular.

Member of the Japan Society for the Study of Education and the Japanese Association of Special Education; Director of the National Association of the Deafblind; Advisor to the Tokyo Association of the Deafblind; Member of the Social Security Council’s Subcommittee on Handicapped Persons (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare); Asian Representative at the World Federation of the Deafblind.

Awards and Commendations

  • 1996  The 30th Yoshikawa Eiji Culture Award (with his mother)
  • 1996  The 33rd Mainichi Brail Culture Award (The 33rd Tenji Mainichi Bunka Award)
  • May 2000  The 2nd Shine As You Are Grand Prize (The 2nd Arinomama Medatsu Grand Prize)
  • May 2001  The Japan Federation of the Blind Pioneer Prize
  • Dec. 2002  Commended by the Prime Minister for distinguished services to disabled persons in commemoration of the final year of “The Asian & Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons”
  • June 2003  Honored in Time Magazine’s “Asian Heroes”

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