I’ve posted here a couple of times as my medium to long term goal is to move to and live in Japan. My degree is in Computer Science (minor in Japanese) and I hope to get some experience in my home country (Australia) and saving some money before trying to move to Japan.
I have read about Josh’s story ( https://www.bbc.com/news/disability-58256722 ) and that gave me some hope that it is possible to move to Japan with a disability. I’ve also seen his apartment in a Youtube video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKrLQDNuMpI ) but that left me with a few questions.
I am a paraplegic and use a slide board to transfer between my wheelchair and bed. I get very little assistance from others with the exception of changing my bedding. I can’t get myself off the floor (if I fall out of my wheelchair) but this has not occurred in over three years.
I’ve been looking at “barrier free apartments” in Tokyo ( バリアフリーアパート ) but I am not sure if this is what I should really be looking for. Looking at the blueprints for these apartments I feel I would not be able to live in them the way I currently live with my disability. This leads me to two different conclusions. 1. That I am searching for the wrong thing. or 2. That people with similar disabilities to mine live with them differently in Japan.
I could talk to my OT about this but I feel it would be outside of their knowledge base.
My major concerns with these apartments is how I would use the toilet and shower facilities. Currently, I have a shower chair with one side being open. I wheel this bulky shower chair over the toilet and bend over to the open side to use manual stimulation. When I shower, I simply wheel into the shower and use a hand held shower head to bath. After my shower I dry using a towel before wheeling back to my bed and transfer to it in order to get back into my wheelchair.
Looking at apartments like the two linked below, I very much doubt I would be able to wheel over the toilet due to how it is located and the turning circle of the shower chair.
My second question is a minor question. Shops like Don Q which are very tight on space. Do you just avoid these as they are just too difficult to enter?
My last question is also a minor question. From watching Josh’s video I understand that as a tax paying resident you are entitled to the same supports as a citizen. I also understand that supports are normally provided by the city/ward rather than nationally. In Australia I get some federal funding to cover consumables for incontinence aids. Does Japan have anything like this in place or are people expected to pay out of pocket?
Many thanks in advance.
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