Ritsumeikan University

COVID-19 and Persons with Disabilities in East Asia Discussed:East Asia Disability Studies Forum 2020

August 17, 2020

Institute of Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University, organized Webinar on COIVD-19 and Persons with Disabilities in East Asia on 18 July 2020 as East Asia Disability Studies Forum 2020.

East Asia Disability Studies Forum started in 2010 as a venue for dialogue on disability studies between Japan and Korea. Now it has expanded to include disability studies groups from Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan and serves as the only standing forum on disability studies in East Asia. It was to be hosted by the Institute of Ars Vivendi in Kyoto in September, but COVID-19 pandemic has prevented it.

The Institute put in a lot of efforts in making the Forum accessible by providing this English seminar with the interpretation into Japanese, which was captioned and interpreted into Japanese Sign Language. Similar efforts were made by Chinese counterparts. The English programme as well as PPTs and papers in English are available. It was encouraging to have the participation from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University through the support of Center for Inclusive Leadership headed by Prof. Alcantara Lailani Laynesa.

The COVID-19 pandemic can widen the existing gaps in our society, including the ones created by ableism. But as we face this crisis squarely, we try to promote inclusion and diversity, by securing on-line accessibility, for instance. The East Asia Disability Studies Forum 2020 has proved not only that it is needed but also it can be done.


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