Japanese Activities for all Skill Levels!

For all of us who have gorged ourselves on the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, it’s a long way till the next Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.  But not if that’s home base.  I’ve really been into the Paralympics this time round and so when I realized that they were heading to Japan, I checked out their medal tally.  Three.  Ouch!

But here’s where Japan really shines.  Japanese companies are increasingly offering activities that anyone can take part in – no matter your age, your skill level or your disability.  Here’s an example.  Earlier this spring the pharmaceutical firm Biogen Japan Ltd. held an event for people with multiple sclerosis.  About 60 people played card games where the cards tell them what they have to act out.  As one of their writers said, “In daily life, I don’t usually have the chance to move my body so actively.”

Another game created is Caterpillar Rugby.  Here the participants crawl on their bellies and roll on the floor.  They put on green and yellow tube-like suits that make them resemble caterpillars.

There are annual friendship tennis matches where the barriers between able-bodied and disabled disappear.

In another one, players move their lips and tongues to control a tennis racket on a computer screen.  Well, you get the idea.  It’s all designed for inclusion – although I haven’t had any indication that individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities are included.

But just imagine if they are.  Then we would have real inclusion!

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