The welfare-driven city is, and it must be, a city for ALL people. The quality of life (QOL) of the older adults and people with disabilities in our society depends on there being a high quality of life for everybody. Able-bodied younger people must understand that in the future they are also likely to need the welfare services that are now being provided to others – people with disabilities and older adults – because they may also one day develop a disability and – if they are lucky – they too will become older. Rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology is firmly placed to drive such a future; certainly it can contribute through collaboration with older people, those who have special needs and many other specialists: for instance physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, policy makers, educators and so on.
I am sure that there are people here at 23rd JCAART who joined us in Niigata in 2008 and who can contribute: together we have laid the strong foundations that will create such a welfare-driven city, providing QOL4ALL.
We take this opportunity to thank Dr. R.A. Cooper (editor-in-chief) for providing the opportunity to publish this book and tell people in the wider world about rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology in Japan; the first super-aged society: a first in RESJA history. I am proud of our contribution from Niigata. We will contribute more in the future in this field, because we are the front runner among super-aged societies.
An international meeting to exchange wheelchair repair technology was held at the same time, contributing to extending the knowledge from the conference to technical high school students and volunteers. We would like to thank all of the authors for their contributions to the conference and to this book. Special thanks go to Dr. Diane M. Collins and also Dr. Don Parkes for proof reading the draft. Finally thank you to IOS press for their encouragement and patience.
At the final stage of this draft, we had the biggest disaster from earthquake, tsunami, and an unexpected radiological emergency in Japan. We hope this publication will encourage the people for the revival of Japan.
Hisaichi Ohnabe, Ph.D., Associate Editor (RESJA), Chair, Executive Committee of 23rd JCAART, Niigata University of Health & Welfare (University of Pittsburgh)