Atsuko kuwana jumping in at the deep end the japan times preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra

A breech baby, kuwana suffered a spinal cord injury when her mother went preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas into labor unexpectedly and had to give birth in an preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas unfamiliar hospital. Her mobility issues, however, have never stopped kuwana from pursuing and creating opportunities to preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas propel herself forward in life.

At the age of just 4, she was sent to a residential school for children with preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas disabilities where she lived for six years. While this may sound hard for such a small child, kuwana says, “I actually felt privileged, as in those days many disabled people were stuck in preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas the house. I was lucky that my parents sought opportunities for me preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas to gain social and educational skills.”


Fueled by a love of american TV shows and music, kuwana became interested in english as a teenager and went preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas on to major in the language at a two-year college in japan — her first experience of integrated education. She also enjoyed a three-week homestay in the U.S. “I thought that if I mastered this language then maybe preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas my life could be bigger, with more opportunities,” she recalls.

A golden chance presented itself through japanese company duskin’s ainowa foundation. To commemorate the international year of disabled persons in 1981, duskin established a study abroad leaders program for the disabled, and kuwana successfully applied for one of 10 scholarships offered preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas in the inaugural year.

Having experienced a mostly segregated education in japan, kuwana was keen to use the opportunity to learn more preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas about mainstream education for the disabled. She was subsequently sent as an intern to the center preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas for independent living inc., a facility in berkeley, california, promoting advocacy and supporting those with disabilities to live life preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas to the fullest.

According to kuwana, her nine months at the center “woke” her up to the possibilities for the disabled community, including participating in sports. “at this point japan had competitive sports, such as wheelchair tennis and basketball, but I was more interested in sports for recreational purposes,” she notes.

Berkeley was also the catalyst for a major change in preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas another area of kuwana’s life, as she met her future husband, michael winter, three weeks before she was due to leave. Winter was a disability advocate and pioneer in the independent preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas living movement, and was born with brittle bone disorder.

“when we applied to adopt, we told (the agency) we were both disabled and would be ready to welcome preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas a child with a disability,” kuwana says. “another reason behind our decision to adopt was that my preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas husband’s condition was hereditary, although of course we would have welcomed and loved a preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas child regardless.”

Kuwana points out that family members are often “the greatest enemies” of those with disabilities, with their well-meaning but sometimes misguided attempts to protect their loved ones. “as a parent myself, of course I understand this. But don’t be afraid to let them try new things,” she urges.

In 1994, the family moved to washington, D.C., where winter pursued a career as a policy adviser on preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas advocacy for the disabled and held various positions at the preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas U.S. Department of transportation. Kuwana, meanwhile, combined caring for their son with teaching japanese to governmental preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas and military personnel.

Though she was initially asked to move to fukushima for preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas the duration of her contract, kuwana says she was concerned that it would have been preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas hard with a young son. After negotiating, she was able to go back and forth between the preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas U.S. And japan for a few months at a time, lecturing to various organizations, schools and community groups about her experiences with disability advocacy, while also learning more about the situation in fukushima.

Berkeley, which she describes as her “second hometown,” was a strong candidate. She enjoyed the climate and still had many friends there. She also toyed with the idea of going to back preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas to japan in order to be nearer to her family. Ultimately she came to the realization that hawaii would be preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas an ideal location, with its combination of being a well-established japanese cultural hub with the things she values about preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas the american lifestyle.

Another draw was the opportunity to pursue a long-held interest in scuba diving. Having obtained her license while still living in washington, D.C., she felt the timing was right to take her skills preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas to the next level. In addition to scuba diving, she also regularly participates in surfing through the assistance of preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas accessurf, a nonprofit organization that helps people with physical or cognitive preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas disabilities to experience marine sports in a barrier-free environment.

Noting that her endeavors to date have simply been in preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas order to achieve the things she wanted, kuwana’s advice to others with disabilities is essentially the same preparacion para radiografia de columna lumbosacra sanitas as her own personal mantra: “don’t put limits on yourself! You have to do research and ask for help, but if you want to do something, then just do it.”

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