The Act on Support for Children with Medical Needs Sets the Stage for Inclusive Education
A significant step was taken in 2021 to support children with medical needs as the “Act on Support for Children with Medical Needs” was set to go into effect.
With this new legislation in place, governments, nursery schools, kindergartens, and schools have been working diligently to create a more inclusive system that can accommodate children with medical conditions.
The aim is to foster an environment where both adults and children can have ample interactions with those who require medical care, thereby promoting a more compassionate and understanding society.
Creating Connections through Play
To build a bridge of connection and understanding, a collaborative effort was initiated with the NPO Aeria Hokkaido Medical Care Children’s Family Association Team Dosanco. The idea was to provide a unique opportunity for children with medical needs to engage in play and fun activities at the team lab that came to the Sapporo Art Park.
The event received heartwarming feedback, with participants expressing their gratitude for the chance to play together.
Comments like, “It takes courage to go to teamLab by ourselves, so I’m glad we were able to go with everyone,” and “I was able to play with my siblings,” demonstrated the significance of such initiatives in creating positive experiences for these children.
Addressing Challenges and Seeking Future Improvements
While the event garnered praise for its positive impact, it also brought to light some disparities between pre-inquiry expectations and the actual situation. This provided valuable insights for future events, emphasizing the need for continuous improvement and better coordination.
Growing Numbers of Children Requiring Medical Care Demands Inclusive Education Measures
As the number of children requiring medical care continues to rise each year, the importance of inclusive education measures cannot be overstated. In 2021, we introduced the “Act on Support for Children in Medical Care” to address this growing concern.
However, there has been an observation that many qualified medical, welfare, and nursing care workers lack experience in dealing with children in medical care.
Overcoming this, we took a new approach to foster connections through play, rather than maintaining the traditional support-receive support dynamic.
Supporting Siblings: Enabling Carefree Play Through Collaboration
One of the significant challenges faced by families with children requiring medical care is the reluctance of siblings to venture out alone. Having other adults and children join in play activities gave siblings the opportunity to enjoy themselves without any reservations.
The presence of multiple adult caregivers provided additional support and made it easier for families to participate in events, reducing the burden of going out alone.
Sharing Information and Spreading Understanding: A Collaborative Project
Recognizing families’ hesitations due to a lack of concrete information, we launched a collaborative project to provide insights into the experience.
Families of children requiring medical care often rely on buggies for mobility, leading to concerns about accessibility at events like the “teamLab Learn! Future amusement park and animals living with Flowers” at Sapporo Art Park.
By sharing firsthand information and addressing specific concerns related to buggy access, welfare vehicle parking, and participation options, the hope was to encourage more families to join and create memorable experiences.
A Call for Consideration and Support: Building Empathy for Families with Medical Care Children
Through this initiative, the aim was not only to provide an enjoyable event but also to raise awareness of the challenges faced by families with children requiring medical care.
We hope that experiencing these difficulties firsthand will incline more people to offer a helping hand and show consideration for the unique needs of these families.
The shared experiences and understanding gained from playing together can lead to a more compassionate and supportive community for children with medical needs and their families.
The collaborative event at Sapporo Art Park serves as an inspiring example of how play and shared experiences can foster inclusion and understanding for children with medical needs.
With the “Act on Support for Children with Medical Needs” now in effect, such initiatives play a crucial role in shaping a more compassionate and supportive society for all.
By actively addressing challenges, sharing information, and building empathy, we can create a more inclusive world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and play without barriers.