In Memory of Maija Könkkölä

By Hisayo Katsui

I heard the very sad news on last Monday morning when I went to my office.

I first met her as soon as I started my PhD study on disability and development in 2000. I attended one seminar and she made her presentation on accessibility, as she was an architect. I had the privilege of attending other presentations of her in the following years. In one of the presentations, she introduced her latest publication on accessible homes. After the presentation, I approached her to ask for a copy to purchase it. She said, “It’s free. You can have it for free. If some information makes lives of persons with disabilities better, such information has to be free.” This has been very important for me whenever I produce some writings, unless articles were included into someone else’s books.

Likewise, she has influenced many people’s thinking in her life and such influence definitely continues to live. I would like to thank her, deeply.