Building A Better Asia: Deaf Dialogue

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Megumi Kawakami (Japan)

December 21st, 2009

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My name is Megumi Kawakami. I am from Okinawa, Japan. After I went to a mainstream school, I majored in English in Okinawa Christian Junior College.  After graduating from college, I worked at the Bank of Okinawa for eight years.  During these years, I joined the Okinawa Association of the Deaf, a branch of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf. I also served on the board of the Okinawa Association of the Deaf and as a member of  the Association’s Youth group for five years.  My responsibilities included acting as a coordinator for Japanese Sign language (JSL) for JSL teachers, meeting with interpreters and setting up workshops on teaching methods for the JSL teachers. I have also taught JSL.

In 2007, I received a Nippon Foundation scholarship. With the support of the Nippon Foundation, I went to Ohlone College, California to study English for a year, after which I entered Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. in Fall 2009.  Now, I am freshman and am planning to major in Deaf Studies in B.A. My interest is in the definition of deaf culture based on Educational background, family and Sign Language and the development of Deaf and hard of hearing identities. My hobbies are travelling, walking on beach, reading and learning various cultures throughout the world.

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