Skip to main content

Dell Technologies Japan ERG Event Report: "Knowing the Soundless World" by True Ability and Mosaic


Unleash your power to make a difference. Join an ERG and drive social change.

Originally Published: May 16, 2023

Tokyo, Japan ERGs True Ability and Mosaic held a joint event called Knowing the Soundless World where they invited an external guest speaker, Kentaro Hayase, a man who was born deaf, to speak to Dell employees. Kentaro has an impressive background competing in the 2017 Deaflympics and still riding for the Japan Deaf Cycling Association. He even is a sign language teacher on a TV program and a film director!

At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Hayase asked us a question, “When did I become aware I was blind? Did I or did the public institutions recognize my deafness first?" He discussed that as a baby, he obviously wouldn’t have understood he was deaf. However, when he was 3-4 years old, he noticed something different about him. Later, when he was in 3rd grade, he realized that he was deaf. However, at this point, he believed he was just characterized by deafness, much like being tall or short or having a high or low voice. As he grew older and people began to refer to his deafness, he wondered if he had a disability.  erg speech japan

While it’s common to learn about the needs of disabled people and to support them in overcoming their challenges in school, these views come from the perspective of able-bodied individuals rather than people with disabilities themselves. Additionally, the term 'disability' is not always self-referential and may be learned only after being applied by others outside of the disabled community. Mr. Hayase explained, “I struggled because how I saw myself and others saw me didn't match at all.” We tend to label people for the sake of easy understanding. However, labeling can sometimes cause suffering.

In elementary school, his teacher asked him to represent the feelings of deaf people to his class and share his obstacles on behalf of the deaf community and other people with disabilities. He was confused. He didn’t see himself as a representative of the disabled community, nor did he identify as disabled. “Regarding my situation, I do not experience emotions like sadness or regret. This is who I am. I identify as a deaf person. I'm proud of my deafness." We sometimes categorize people based on not only disability but also nationality, gender, or generation and view them through this lens. However, to be inclusive, it’s essential to face people as they are, without filters, and to interact with them.  

Mr. Hayase asked the attendees if we had an identity. Most of the Japanese people in attendance did not recognize their own identity unless they moved to other countries and interacted with people of different nationalities and backgrounds. He pointed out that this lack of self-awareness can lead to suffering and worsened understanding of each other. Whether or not someone has a disability, having a strong sense of identity and self-respect is essential for everyone. Then, he shared his hopes of people living together in cooperation regardless of whether they are able-bodied or not. "We can only be equals when we understand each other." That's why he takes on multiple roles from athlete to teacher. He says that the more he collaborates with diverse people, the more understanding they are of his deafness. 

japan erg event group pic Sign language is a tool that helps provide information for the deaf community. However, it has recently allowed improved communication between disabled and non-disabled individuals. Gaining interest in and having an open mindset toward learning about disabled people is essential for creating a better society. We can influence each other, so we should approach others with respect and consider what ideas, values, or knowledge we can gain from each other. Sign language is different depending on the country, just like spoken languages. However, people often use the country-specific sign language they know best, even if it’s different from the sign language used in other countries. Even if we don’t know each other well, being willing to learn about each other can lead to better communication. It’s important to admit who you are and be able to express yourself. Here we are saying "applause" in Japanese sign language. 

After the event, participants sent positive feedback:

  • "I gained a new perspective I hadn't considered before." 
  • "I used to assume that people with disabilities are always struggling. However, I now realize that this was an unconscious bias and selfish assumption." 

Mr. Hayase provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our own identities and attitudes and examine the society we live in. Even if this opportunity is not directly related to our current job or business, it allows us to recognize, learn, and reflect on ourselves, which can lead to small changes in our way of living and our society. Dell Technologies will continue to collaborate with various organizations worldwide to contribute to society and foster a culture of diversity and inclusion. 


To learn more about ERGs and life at Dell, please visit Employee Resource Groups and our stories.

Be The First To See New Opportunities

Join Our Talent Network

Sign up, stay connected and get opportunities that match your skills sent right to your inbox.

*Denotes required field

Interested InSelect a job category from the list of options. Search for a location and select one from the list of suggestions. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.

By submitting your information, you acknowledge that you have read our privacy policy and consent to receive email and/or SMS messaging communication from Dell Technologies. For users located in the People’s Republic of China: According to the regulations of the People's Republic of China on the protection of personal information, we need your authorization for Dell Technologies to transfer your personal data to Dell Technologies’ global talent database. The authorized personal information will be used for recruitment purposes only. Please read the Dell China Privacy Statement carefully.