For a person with physical challenges, even an ordinary task such as using public transport can become a hassle. Growing up, Kakiuchi remembers that he would not even consider taking the bus because the bus driver would not bother to stop for him. The perspective of others regarding the treatment of some members of our society needs to be transformed. Something as simple as wanting to go to the movies with your friends can be a major trouble, and many would prefer to stay home instead.
Working part-time while studying at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Kakiuchi found out how to overcome this challenge and convert what others think to be a weakness into a strength. Thus, he began a journey to help improve the lives of people with physical challenges such as his.
“Barriers can be changed into values”, is the slogan for Mirairo, a consultancy office in Tokyo run by Kakiuchi that provides consulting and training to provide better access to people with special needs. He is leading the way for the rights of such people everywhere. ‘Mirairo’ is a Japanese word that translates to “opening doors to future pathways”.
The organization runs on the belief that people who have physical challenges have special abilities that they can use as their strength to stay on par with the changing world.
Moving around can be one of the biggest hurdles for people with special needs. In this regard, Japan is one of the leading nations for developing new solutions and creating infrastructure that caters to the needs of everyone.
How Mirairo Helps People
Hurdle-free pathways in public places and elevator access to different floors of a building are just a couple of steps that, if implemented on a sizeable scale, can improve the living standards of many people. One of the things that gets ignored is the consideration of someone's mobility needs in emergency evacuations or disaster situations. Mirairo is working as a consultancy organization for large companies and government institutions to facilitate the barrier-free movement for everyone.
According to Mirairo, it is more convenient and cost effective to create barrier-less spaces when planning a new facility rather than modifying one later on. The 2020 Olympic Games are to be held in Japan, and having barrier-free infrastructure is one of the main priorities right now for the organizers. Kakiuchi is also working on a mobile application where users can check if they can enter a restaurant without needing help from others. Being one of the people who need access to such conveniences, Kakiuchi is leading the way to help based on his own experiences.
Also, a part of Mirairo is a program in which Kakiuchi conducts awareness sessions that provide guidelines to people about how to best interact with their peers with mobility needs.With such programs, Kakiuchi is leading the way towards a better and a more balanced community that treats all of its members equally.