January 17, 1998. Time: 1:00p.m.-4:00p.m. at Tamanoyu hotel.

The second off-line meeting of the Braille Conference was held at Yufuin. Mrs. Chika Sekine joined it from Tokyo. Thanks to Mr. Matsumura and Tamanoyu Hotel, the meeting was held in a very nice room. Mr. Kimura, the chairman of the Braille Conference, made an opening speech and proposed a toast wishing the development of the Conference and the health of the participants.

From left:
Ms.Abe, Ms.Kato, Ms.Sekine, Mrs.Uratsuka, Mrs.Nagano, Mrs.Ishida, Mr.Matsuki, Mr.Kimura, Mr.Don Plym from the US, Mr. Ishida(who is out of the shot), my husband Ken, and special guests Mr. & Mrs. Oda (the parents of Mrs. Sekine.) A total of 13 people joined the meeting. All participants are listening attentively to the explanation of IBM's Home Page Reader" brought by Mrs. Sekine.
Everybody is looking closely at the display, and listening to the words from the speaker of the PC.

In the back are the parents of Mrs.Sekine.

Mrs.Chika Sekine, who joined us all the way from Tokyo. I found a kindred spirit when I met her at the Beppu Bay Conference, held last November. She is a wonderful lady who loves Yufuin and music.
This time, the parents of Mrs.Sekine joined the meeting as well. Her mother teaches doll making. She had an appointment to meet another teacher from Oita. I was so surprised to learn that the teacher from Oita was my close friend. The world is small, indeed. We had a long pleasant chat.
Before the meeting, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Tamanoyu hotel. Mr. Plym, a vegetarian, could enjoy the lunch because the food was mostly edible wild plants. We toasted with local beer, and the dessert was Kabosu sherbet.

Mr. Plym was presented a pair of Hina dolls, from Mrs. Sekine's mother. They were made from Japanese cloth. It will be a good souvenir from Japan. After lunch, we enjoyed the famous hot spring of the Tamanoyu hotel. For me, it seems me to clean up my body and mind.
Mrs.Kato(left) and Mrs.Abe. Both of them take part in the Braille transcription in the Braille Conference.
This is IBM's "Home Page Reader" demonstrated today. Mr.Kimura and Mr.Matsuki rated it highly because of its voice quality and easy handling.

The time passed so quickly as we participated in the fruitful meeting. I believe the Internet should be used not only by average people, but also by those people who have difficulties in seeing, listening, and moving. It will be easier for those with disablilities if home pages are created with this idea in mind. We must learn more. Mr.Kimura concluded, saying he would like to meet again in the near future. I greatly appreciate all the participants.

Mie