officer blog


Postgraduate Officer

Elise Page


disability history month

Dear all,

I hope you are excited for the Winter Break!

In Japan, we celebrate many things happening in the other countries.

On Christmas, many of us go to get KFC for the Christmas meal.

Sometimes people are in the queue for 2 hours to get the Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I don’t know why, but I thought this may be something interesting to share with you!


As I’m writing this we are in the middle of Disability History Month (18th November through 20th December).

One of the highlighted events is a virtual talk with Emeka Nnaka, former American football player and inspirational speaker, at 5pm on Tuesday 8th December.

Emeka Nnaka's talk will be at 5pm UK Time on Tuesday 8 December broadcast on Facebook live

He will discuss resilience and what disability brings to his life. It’s really good that we have this virtual opportunity as Emeka will be talking to us live from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

If you have any questions you want to ask him, please message me via my Facebook page or email me at:

Disability is something we all could have at some point, it could be invisible or visible. It is not negative but it is something you live with.


20th December 2013.

I never imagined that the worst day of my life would ultimately lead to some of my greatest opportunities. I was hit by a truck while driving my scooter in Japan. When I awoke in the hospital, I realized the extent of my injuries: my left knee was shattered and I had lost my right eye. After six surgeries in nine months, I continued to struggle through the long healing process.

It was one of the most difficult periods of my life. My friends and family considered it to be a tragedy. But for me it was just something that made me realise what I had not been doing and what I can do for the rest of my life with disability. During my nine months of recovery, I had chances to appreciate many things that I didn’t notice had been there. You think it will be there because it has always been but it will change so quickly. Every morning when I see my face in the mirror, I still feel weird to see my face which had changed because of the accident. I got used to see it but I had been thinking this is not me. I didn’t cry a lot because I was busy convincing my friends and family that I’m OK, even I was not really, but quite surprisingly that helped me to maintain my mental health. I was very sad that I won’t be able to get the old me back. But I stopped worrying soon after and this might sound a bit weird but I start smiling every time I see my face in the mirror. I realised that being sad about what I cannot change wouldn’t move me forward. I would keep crying if that helps me to get my non-disability body but we are not living in the Harry Potter world. Some people have different opinions but this is how I’ve dealt with my disability life, and I’m proud of myself that I’ve done well to manage both my body and mental health

My brother told me that he didn’t pay attention to people with disability in his daily life until I had one. In my view, it’s so normal that you cannot notice something you don’t know. We all are like this. But once you know something, then you can actively engage.


If you have a bit of time, please pop in the live talk. Again, if you don’t have time but want to ask him something, please leave a comment here or feel free to message me! I’ll anonymously ask him on behalf of you.