Camping out

sign language interpreter

Here’s the main reason I visited the island of Hachijojima earlier this month. It was to do a story on Japanese NGO called the “Universal Event Association“. Basically they run events where disabled and able-bodied people can meet and talk. The camp I went on had a lot of people from companies who are hoping to employ or offer more services to disabled people.

I was a bit worried that it might be a bit happy-clappy – if you know what I mean – but actually it was fascinating. I’ll post a link to my Japan Times story when its out.

Several sign language interpreters were on hand for the camp.

universal camp

This was an evening event in a nearby community hall. No shortage of alcohol during the camp – three bars on site no less.

universal camp name badge

Everyone used nicknames for the duration of the camp. Mine was “Tony the train” – rather a bad pun on kikansha (train) and kisha (journalist).

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