Ms. Michiko Tabata was born partially sighted in Tokyo and attended the local blind school from kindergarten to senior high school courses. I then attended the Texas School for the Blind at the age of 16 as an exchange student, and coming back to Tokyo, I pursued a university degree in English. I was employed at a local financial institution with language skills.
I was not very active in the blindness field for some time but was engaged in international NGOs involving human rights, environment and poverty alleviation. The Blind Summit in 2002 brought me back to the blindness organization, and I have been involved in the WBU community since our mid-term assembly in 2003. I served as treasurer between 2004 and 2008, and representative to WBU between 2008 and 2012. My editorial work for the East Wind continued for 6 issues. I became the President of the WBU Asia Pacific region in 2012.
Back home, I am a member of the international committee of the Japan Federation of the Blind, council member of the National Committee of Welfare for the Blind in Japan and the International Association for the Visually Impaired, and a board member of the Japan Network of NGOs with Disabilities. I am also a board member of AAR Japan, a mainstream humanitarian NGO working to focus on the vulnerable populations in humanitarian crisis including people with disabilities.
Apart from work, I am a foreign language freak, weekend jogger and a fervent fan of a baseball team in Japan, whose replica uniform is the yellow clothes I am wearing in the odd-looking photo. Basically, I enjoy all kinds of activities that give me chances to be exposed to different cultures, be it music, ethnic clothing, food or traveling.