Mizuki Hsu, Visiting International Research Fellow from Japan, actively investigating the employment system for people with disabilities

January 28, 2016

Mizuki Hsu, a Visiting International Research Fellow from Japan, is actively investigating the employment system for people with disabilities in order to improve Japan’s recruiting system for people with disabilities. In November 2015, she visited Minnesota and Wisconsin and interviewed the following company, institutes, and organizations.

Read more about her investigations and discoveries on her personal blog at moomrider7.com:

  1. Medtronic
  2. Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute
  3. Institute on Community Integration
  4. National Center on Education Outcomes
  5. Association on Higher Education And Disability
  6. Department of Education Psychology, University of Minnesota
  7. Disabled Student Cultural Center, University of Minnesota
  8. Student Ability Service, University of Wisconsin River Falls
  9. Interact Center

She discovered that the US has a long history of inclusive education and wide range of support and services for people with disabilities after they move to higher education, which helps them expand their career possibilities much more.

During interviews, the fact surprised her the most was the process of hiring people with disabilities. In the US, companies don't reserve job positions exclusively for candidates with disabilities. The disclosure of disability is optional and it depends on each candidate. Moreover companies are required by ADA to supply reasonable accommodations after hiring the the candidate.

 In Japan, we use a quota system that companies have more than 50 employees are required to hire people with disabilities at least 2% of total employees. The issues are job positions are really limited for candidates with disabilities. Job opportunities are not equally available to  candidates with disabilities. Each person with disabilities has an ID for proving his/her disability, so companies would ask candidates with disabilities to hand in a copy of the ID which means they need to disclose disabilities before employed. Some companies refuse to interview them due to the disabilities if they already have 2% of employees with disabilities. Even after companies decided to hire those candidates with disabilities, they might refuse to provide reasonable accommodations due to lack of budget and do not take reasonable accommodations seriously.

Due to those discrimination, people with disabilities in Japan have less opportunities to maximize their abilities at workplace and that becomes a barrier to build a good career. Mizuki is impressed by the culture and the well developed recruitment system and is even more interested in researching this topic. She continuously interviews different companies and institutes in different locations and professions.