Support for Persons with Disabilities

Live to Contribute – Initiatives for an Inclusive Society

The Nippon Foundation, established in 1962, has been involved in activities to support persons with disabilities in Japan and around the world for more than 50 years. In the course of working together with persons with disabilities, we have learned that removing the obstacles that prevent their equal participation paves the way for everyone – with or without a disability – to demonstrate their full potential. Persons with disabilities have often been stereotyped as people who “need to be protected by society,” but that image needs to be swept aside through a paradigm shift toward viewing them as “contributors to society.” It is important that we continue to lend a helping hand to people facing severe difficulties and also to carry on the support activities that aim to provide equal opportunities. But, at the same time, The Nippon Foundation wants to contribute to that paradigm shift by offering innovative support that seeks to allow highly talented persons with disabilities to better display their abilities and thereby lead the way in encouraging and inspiring others in society.

Discovering Hidden Talent

The Nippon Foundation is supporting persons with disabilities engaged in various activities to help them live dignified, fulfilling lives in which their latent talents and possibilities can fully develop. These activities provide encouragement to others and also help to overcome social prejudice.

Supporting Financial Independence

We are backing efforts aimed at economic independence, including financial assistance to companies engaged in businesses for persons with disabilities to expand employment opportunities and come up with new types of job assistance.

Persons with Disabilities Find Careers as Chocolatiers

Since 2014 we have been supporting product planning and development for luxury chocolates made by persons with disabilities through a tie-up with a famous chocolatier.

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Photo of persons with disabilities learning how to make luxury chocolate

Disability Inclusive Financing

In addition to providing operating funds, the program focuses on financing for facilities and equipment. The aim is to increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities by expanding businesses. The program also helps remove hurdles in the application process with training in application methods as well as in business management.

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Introducing Needed Infrastructure and Other Facilities

We are making it easier for persons with disabilities to display their abilities by developing a barrier-free map application, promoting sign language, and pursuing other efforts to create a foundation for daily life.

Developing the Barrier-Free Map Application “Bmaps”

With the aim of creating a society in which anyone in the world can go outside and move about freely with peace of mind, The Nippon Foundation has developed and released the Bmaps barrier-free map application for a wide range of people including wheelchair users and people using baby strollers.

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Group photo of participants at the April 2016 press conference to announce the completion of Bmaps

Raising Social Awareness of Sign Language

Based on the view that “sign language is the mother language of Deaf people,” The Nippon Foundation is engaged in the development and spread of sign language and the use of sign language for education.

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Disaster-Prevention Initiatives

Fatalities among persons with disabilities in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake occurred at a rate that was roughly double the rate for residents in general. We are drawing on the lessons of that tragedy to promote disaster response that incorporates the perspective of persons with disabilities.

Utilizing ICT for Higher Education

From early on, The Nippon Foundation has focused on the benefits of information and communications technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities and has utilized ICT for higher education, achieving many results in this area.

Supporting Higher Education for Persons with Visual Impairment

The Nippon Foundation took its first step toward using ICT to provide educational and employment opportunities in the ASEAN region by establishing a fund at the Overbrook School for the Blind in the United States.

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Photo of visually impaired women learning through the use of ICT

Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP)

Our aim is for persons with disabilities to acquire a high level of specialized knowledge regarding public policy and disabilities, so they can become involved in creating disability-related legislation and policies at government agencies and other organizations in the future.

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Photo of anIDPP class using ICT

Videos Introducing Initiatives