Supporting the Reopening of Facilities for Persons with Disabilities

AAR JAPAN has been supporting the repair of buildings and grounds at over 50 facilities for persons with disabilities and the elderly that have been affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Our efforts to help these facilities resume operations as quickly as possible have been greatly appreciated, as the application process for government support is lengthy, and this type of support is not always covered by government recovery programs.
Support for Reopening Facilities for Persons with Disabilities

Rubato, immediately after the earthquake. Cars were swept from the street into the office. 

Rubato, an ambulatory rehabilitation center for persons with disabilities near Sendai Airport in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, was the only facility in Natori City providing services for people who have combined intellectual and physical disabilities. When the earthquake hit, all of the clients and staff were able to evacuate safely, but cars and debris were swept into the building, and the facility’s office supplies and vehicles were ruined. After the disaster, the center was unable to resume operations, as there were restrictions on construction in the area.

Fortunately, Rubato was able to relocate free of charge to a former livestock clinic, and AAR JAPAN has supported renovation of the interior of the building. We repaired the floor, placed a carpet, and renovated the Japanese-style toilet for use by persons with disabilities. Renovation work was completed on June 31st. We had seen the center’s clients looking anxious as a result of the effects of the earthquake, but setting up a new location for Rubato’s operations brought smiles back to their faces.

Rubato restarted operations at a new location. The 30- year-old building has been nicely renovated.

Inside the new building at Rubato. You can walk around the carpeted floor with bare feet.

Museum for Artwork by Persons with Disabilities

An artist at work after Runbini Museum’s renovation. We fixed the left wall and the ceiling.

In Ishinomaki City, Iwate Prefecture, AAR JAPAN supported the repair of facilities at Runbini Museum, which exhibits artwork by persons with intellectual disabilities and offers studio space on its upper floor.

The museum had been unable to display some of its artwork due to earthquake damage such as cracked walls and ceilings. After restoration was completed on July 13th, people were able to use the facility as before. They commented, “It’s brighter and feels better now.” The museum is full of unique and wonderful artwork that will be sure to delight any visitor. Please be sure to stop by the museum when you are around!

*This project has been made possible through generous individual donations and through grants from Japan Platform and Accenture Japan, Ltd.

Haruka Hinosugi, AAR JAPAN Morioka Office
She is from  Iwate Prefecture and  has been working at Morioka Office since April 2011.