The U.S. participants (left) share their experience with USJC staff (right)
On July 25, USJC staff in Washington, DC met with three of the U.S. participants of theTOMODACHI LEAD ON! Tour Japan Series Program 2016. Three leaders of the Japanese Council on Independent Living Centers (JIL) who led the 2015 group from Japan to the United States were also present, visiting DC for the annual conference of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL).
The U.S. participants shared what they learned on the program, from the cultural and logistical differences of living with disabilities in the United States and Japan, to the new non-discrimination act in Japan compared with the ADA. The participants said that they were welcomed warmly by all they met, and that they were impressed by the thoughtful questions they received throughout their visit.
JIL leaders also participated in the discussion
All the participants discussed their experience traveling to Sendai, where they met survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake. One of the participants said that she wants to ensure that her loved ones in the United States are not vulnerable in case of a disaster, and that she wants to initiate conversations with key stakeholders at all levels to be proactive and inclusive in their disaster preparedness.
The participants come from all over the United States and, in addition to the group trip to Sendai and Tokyo, each visited centers for independent living in various cities throughout Japan.
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