CJF Home Messages from the organizers Illust by Junko Suzuki
Prop Station, a Nonprofit Social Welfare
Organization Supporting the Challenged.

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Prof. Osamu Sudoh, Institute of Socio Information and Communication Studies, the University of Tokyo; convenor of CJF 2000

The present time we live in is the time of the Internet. It has gained more and more power in the society and the Informational technology (IT) is firmly incorporated in the social system.

In this situation, a group of people have experienced the most advanced world of the Internet. They are the challenged, who in spite of their disabilities have willingly learned necessary skills to utilize computers and the Internet, obtained jobs, and lived proudly. There are increasing number of such new people and new efforts to assist them in many places throughout Japan.

The network benefits greatly the challenged who have noticed its potential abilities. Now many of them have begun to learn, get advanced skills, and work at home by using the Internet. They are like pioneers and their experience will lead others to create a new social system.  Conventional idea of welfare have only tried to protect the people with disabilities and would not allow them to fully live their lives. Then, we can learn much from the pioneer challenged who have demonstrated the new way of education and working experiences. Their methods can also be applied in the future aged society of Japan.

In CJF 2000, I expect discussants from industrial and academic fields, the government, and general public, to consider and exchange opinions on creating a system of learning and working on the Net to give specific ideas for the future Japanese aged society.

I hope the forthcoming CJF 2000 to be participated by many challenged, their family, teachers, central and local government officers, businesspersons, and so on.

Nami Takenaka (Nami-ne), Representative at Prop Station, Host of CJF 2000

I first met Ms Cohen in October, 1999, at an international conference on remote working held in Seattle. She lectured at a subcommittee on remote working and the challenged.

She, in an upright position in uniform stated, "The first step of defending the home country is to enable every citizen to live with pride." I deeply sympathized with her words and told her after the lecture that Prop Station's slogan "Making Japan where the challenged can become taxpayers" had basically the same idea of living with proud.

Early in the year 2000, I visited Pentagon to see high-tech machinery assistive devices used for people with most serious disabilities to work at CAP and to request Ms. Cohen to lecture at CJF 2000. After coming back to Japan, I exchanged many e-mails with her and finally received her consent to participate in the forum.

At CJF 2000, I hope all the participants to receive from Ms. Cohen's lecture and program sessions various opinions for living with pride. I also hope that IT will be developed to promote human pride. "Let's be proud!"

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