The mission of the Associated Kyoto Program (hence known as “AKP”) is to provide a rigorous academic and cultural experience that enables college students, regardless of their academic or personal background, to develop a multifaceted understanding of Japan, Japanese culture, and the Japanese language. In the pursuit of this mission, AKP is committed to assuring equal access to all programs and services and to nurturing a community that supports all students’ needs.
Process for Disclosure
Students who would like to request academic accommodations or disability-related support services while studying abroad are asked to work with the appropriate office at their home institution to document and share their needs with AKP at least one month prior to the start of their attendance at AKP.
Upon receipt of current documentation from the student’s home institution, AKP will review the student’s request and inform the student of its determinations in a timely manner. It is recommended that students disclose their disability needs as early as possible so that AKP can thoroughly determine what kinds of appropriate arrangements and reasonable accommodations can be made in advance.
AKP will use good faith efforts to provide accommodations similar to the academic or disability-related accommodations students receive at their home
institutions. For academic accommodations, this may include additional time, computer access, or a quiet place for examinations; additional time for written assignments; and, in exceptional circumstances, a plan for a reduced course program.
However, the extent to which accommodations can be provided will ultimately depend on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, the nature of the accommodation, the availability of services in Japan, and the time with which the student and AKP are able to plan arrangements prior to arrival. For example, it may be difficult to accommodate service animals or support animals due to Japan’s strict animal import process (which takes at least 7 months to complete).
It is also important for students to note that AKP is unable to provide services that would create an undue burden for AKP or its host institution, Doshisha University, or that would fundamentally alter the nature of AKP’s programs.
Documentation regarding student disabilities is strictly confidential. However, information about your accommodations as well as other appropriate information may be shared with certain AKP staff/faculty or your host family for the purpose of processing your accommodation request and facilitating your approved accommodations, or with medical providers in the event of an emergency.
Like all other students, students with disabilities are responsible for their own success and learning while abroad. AKP encourages all students to be proactive in preparing for their personal circumstances both prior to and during their time abroad. For students with disabilities, this may include consulting your health care provider about your plans to go to Japan, taking your disability into account when choosing courses or activities, or researching the accessibility environment in Japan for your disability prior to departure. The resources below may be a good start to this preparation:
- Mobility International USA (https://www.miusa.org/)
- The US Department of State (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international- travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/traveling-with-disabilties.html)
- Accessible Japan (https://www.accessible-japan.com/)
Remember that AKP is your partner in your study abroad journey. If you have any questions about accessibility on AKP, in Kyoto, or in Japan as a whole, do not hesitate to reach out.