Our intensive five-month disability leadership and advocacy training takes place in Boston, Massachusetts. The goal of the program is to train the next generation of young Japanese people with disabilities to become stronger and more confident leaders.
The program engages trainees in a spectrum of activities:
After graduating from the program, trainees contribute to communities in disability leadership roles. They also become mentors to future program participants.
The program is sponsored by the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership between the U.S.- Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and Northrop Grumman, and implemented by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at UMass Boston, through partnership with TOMODACHI. Since the 1960s, the ICI has been a leader in disability inclusion and advocacy.
Five months (starting in July 2017 and ending in December 2017).
Maximum of two trainees.
|July 28||Arrival in Boston|
|July 31–Aug. 11||Orientation to the TOMODACHI Program and life in Boston|
|Aug. 14–Dec. 8||Individual internship, English language/American Sign Language, weekly group supervision seminars|
|November 17||Draft of trainee final report due|
|December 15||Award ceremony: final presentations and program completion|
|December 19||Departure for Japan|
To apply for this program, you must:
For those who need assistance with carrying out daily life activities and who are accepted into the program, costs for a personal care assistant will be covered up to the amount of US $1,500 per trainee for the entire training period. Trainees need to cover the rest. We will help trainees arrange personal care assistance in Boston.
A panel of U.S. and Japanese disability experts and ICI program staff will review all valid applications and select those individuals whose applications meet the program objectives.
Candidates will be invited to participate in a Skype interview. The interview has two parts: Part 1 of the interview will be ten minutes long, conducted in Japanese, and ask about your interests and goals for the leadership training. Part 2 will be a ve- to ten-minute test of your English language / American Sign Language (ASL) skills. The panel and ICI program staff will make nal decisions after interviewing all candidates.
We are looking for applicants who can describe their personal and professional disability leadership goals, and are able to explain how this program will help them achieve these goals.
The program will cover:
The trainee must pay for:
Trainees live in communities in or around Boston. They live with either home-stay families or in apartments, arranged by the program.
The program covers the costs for a personal care assistant up to the amount of US $1,500 per trainee for the entire training period. Trainees need to cover the rest. We will help trainees arrange personal care assistance in Boston.
Yes. We expect trainees to have a basic understanding of English language or American Sign Language (ASL).
You may not need to participate in English language or ASL courses, but we make this decision case by case.
No. Our program will match trainees with internship sites. We will nd a placement for each trainee that will support his or her individual interests and training goals.
The training program is full-time, but there are also opportunities for local sightseeing and travelling. Trainees have weekends free, and the program coordinator can suggest trips in and around Boston, Massachusetts, and New England.
Trainees should expect to stay in the United States for the entire duration of the training.
You will receive a certi cate of completion, and you will serve as a mentor to future trainees and other TOMODACHI alumni. Mentors give presentations in Japan about what they learned during the program. They also make themselves available via phone and Skype to talk with other young Japanese people with disabilities.
A fourth-year student at Waseda University in Tokyo.
For her independent project, Yui explored how students with disabilities in the US access college, how they advocate for themselves, and the role that college disability and career services play in helping students be more independent, successful in their academic studies, and prepared for careers and employment, as well as lessons learned for Japan.
Yui interned with the Disability Resource Center at Northeastern University.
“Japanese students with disabilities tend to be rather passive – not advocating for their needs at the office of disability student services. I’d like to change this as a person with a disability.”— Yui Awai
A former peer counselor at the Tachikawa Independent Living Center in Tokyo.
Toshiko’s independent project focused on creating public transportation systems that are accessible to diverse groups of users, including persons with a range of disabilities. Toshiko was particularly interested in the role that disability advocacy organizations and individual disability leaders play in improving public transportation in the US, how this compares with Japan, and what the US and Japan might learn from each other in this area.
Toshiko interned with the Department of System-Wide Accessibility at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
“How have leaders with disability gained awareness and contributed to their community? If there are disability issues, people with disability should be taking a lead.”— Toshiko Kudo
A network engineer at Avinton Japan in Tokyo.
For her independent project, Tomomi investigated the practical application of universal design to make public physical spaces, such as walking trails, playgrounds, and community centers, accessible to all, and the role of disability stakeholders in this process. Tomomi compared what she learned with the situation in Japan, drawing out “lessons learned” for both countries.
Tomomi interned with the Institute for Human Centered Design / New England ADA Center.
“I recognized how important it was to raise our voice of concerns to make an impact on our society. There is a meaningful role we people with disability can play.”— Tomomi Takata