Details of the Initiative

Persons with disabilities who have mainly received services until then become persons who provide services. Cafes in which people with disabilities work have rapidly spread throughout Japan since the 1990s, and their number has reached more than 950 now. As a result, serving customers has been introduced as a new subject in the upper secondary department of special needs education school, and the number of schools that provide a cafe space which local people can use as a facility for practical training has increased. I have annually held the National Meeting of Cafe (Coffee Shop) as a place for exchanges and to create connections in those approaches.

It is important that the way people understand disabilities (the view of disabilities) has been changed through that spread of cafes where mentally disabled persons have been especially considered to be incapable of serving customers. In recent years, the number of cafes in which people with a mental disorder or mental illness work has been increasing. A natural meeting of people with and without disabilities at cafes promotes an understanding of disabilities and elimination of discrimination and prejudice and has further developed to town planning for coexistence. A series of acts in coffee shop services involve educational functions to develop the ability to communicate and to promote intellectual growth and development. The various roles and possibilities of cafes have been clarified.

The National Meeting of Cafe (Coffee Shop) (at the Liberty Tower of Meiji University)
Coffee shop services are hard, but workers find it a rewarding task seeing customers’ smile
Information flyer about the cafe room of the Tokyo Metropolitan Seicho School for Special Needs Education