Meet Mini-Grantee: Collable


Collable is a non-profit organization based in Tokyo, Japan. Collable plans and hosts inclusive design workshops and promotes inclusive design in their work. In 2020, Collable started a study program for students with diverse disabilities to learn about and explore work and career options through workshops and networking events, online learning resources, company tours, and internships. In line with the organization’s slogan “Everyone become a creator for society,” Collable strives to foster spaces and environments collaboratively: not just for people with disabilities, but with people with and without disabilities to enjoy learning and experiencing community together.

As a mini-grant awardee, Collable proposed to design and implement a virtual internship program for college students with disabilities to encourage students to think about their future and to start exploring possible career pathways. A Collable project staff explained,

“Many college students with disabilities have difficulty imagining what their lives will be like once they graduate. This is partly because they have little information, knowledge, experience, or role models showing how someone with a disability can work for a company. In Japan, colleges provide support to students with disabilities at their own discretion, and often students do not have the opportunity to negotiate with the college about this support.”

Collable’s internship program will have three phases. In the first phase, students participate in a workshop to deepen their understanding of disability and disability identity, to learn how to express themselves, and to learn how to advocate for their needs.

The first phase also introduces students to “Gathering.” Gathering is Collable’s successful YouTube channel that features short video clips addressing topics like identifying one’s strength and weaknesses in the context of job hunting, dealing with job hunting anxiety, disability self-disclosure and communication in the workplace, positively embracing change, and more. Several of these videos feature employees with disabilities who can serve as role models for young people with disabilities. Collable encourages students to watch these videos and apply what they learn to their emerging career pathway plans.

In the second phase, students have an opportunity to tour one or more companies to job shadow and interact with employees at those companies. At the end of the program, students meet with Collable staff to collectively reflect on their program experience, talk about lessons learned, and discuss next steps.

In the third phase, students reflect again on their career pathways, job hunting, or desired work styles. They also get to know how job hunting works for students with disabilities. For example, students learn how to discuss disclosing their disability when they apply to jobs. They also learn about the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing their disabilities.

Overall, Collable’s project aims to reduce turnover among newly employed youth with disabilities by ensuring that they have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to manage challenging times when they begin working at new companies.

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