In the next issue we will focus on the Irish social entrepreneur Caroline Casey in our “Philosophy of Life of Shining Women” section. Caroline is a very energetic, charming woman, who campaigns around the world to help disabled people be recognized and valued for the contributions they can make.
In February, the Coco-Life team interviewed Caroline, who was invited to Japan by the Nippon Foundation as part of its support for The Valuable 500. The interview was held entirely in English, but after a while we stopped noticing the difficulty in speaking a foreign language.
Born in 1971 in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, Caroline has severely narrowed visual field caused by chronic ocular albinism.
Caroline gave a TED talk, one of this well-known series of online talks given by prominent people in various fields. Her speech has had a powerful impact on a lot of people! We recommend you to watch it here. (Link)
Caroline’s family had a policy “No labels, no limitations. Believe in your ability and your potential.” Since she was a child, Caroline loved adventure. At the age of 28, she left her company job and went to India, where she traveled with an elephant.
Today Caroline promotes the inclusion of those with disabilities in society such as by improving workplaces for disabled workers, and developing products, services and improved accessibility for disabled customers.
Caroline recently attended the World Economic Forum at Davos (a forum where political leaders and company executives gather and discuss about political and economic issues, held in a Swiss resort every January), where she talked with executives and disability campaigners about making society inclusive for disabled people.
This is Caroline’s first visit to Japan. Her purpose was promoting the Valuable 500, a global business initiative for disability inclusion. As the founder of the Valuable 500, she thought “When 500 business leaders commit to creating an inclusive society where people with disabilities are valued, things will start to change.”
Abroad, it is said that inclusive companies tend to grow faster and get more valuable.
The Valuable 500 is expanding worldwide. 262 globally famous companies such as Microsoft, Procter and Gamble and Unilever joined the Valuable 500 one after another. All participant companies have programs to promote disability inclusion in their workplaces. The movement is expanding also in Japan. Keio Plaza Hotel, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and some Japanese companies have joined the Valuable 500.
We are happy that the disability inclusion movement is growing with companies from around the world.
Japan is now preparing for a big event, the Paralympic Games. A number of people with disabilities will come to Japan from abroad. We are promoting disability inclusion for the Paralympics, and after the event ends we need to keep up those efforts.
The interview article will be in the next Coco-Life Joshibu Vol. 32, released at the end of May. Enjoy it!
Thanks to Caroline, Carys Miller (The Valuable 500 Marketing) who came to Japan to support Caroline, Yasunobu Ishii (The Nippon Foundation), Emi Aizawa (Accessibility consulting company Mirairo) who helped prepare for the interview, and Yukio Nozawa and Masahiro Fujimoto of The Blind Writers LLC who wrote the interview record on the document.
Written by Yu Hase