Employment of Individuals with Disabilities at the University of Tokyo
After the University of Tokyo was incorporated in 2004, changes in calculation methods, etc., left University employment of individuals with disabilities at 1.4%, or below the legally required standard employment rate. Given this fact, the University has been proactively developing employment policies for individuals with disabilities and the Disability Services Office (DSO) has been playing a central role in promoting the employment of such individuals. Through project meetings held jointly with the Personnel Department in 2005, the DSO has selected provisional departments and divisions for such employment. It has also has taken the initiative in building up a framework for the financial support. Especially, with employing those mentally impaired not previously employed by the University, the DSO has taken the initiative in cooperating with other relevant divisions. Such employees have worked as assistant clerks of provisional departments and divisions and as Hongo Campus environmental improvement team staff.
The DSO has engaged in on-campus awareness activities promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities. One example is when it set up the Subcommittee to Discuss Employment Issues for Individuals with Disabilities (reorganized in June 2010 from the Working Group on Employment Issue for Individuals with Disabilities) under the Barrier-Free Support Liaison Meeting. We also established new home-based work for individuals with physical impairment. In October 2010, the Project Team was founded for integrating the employment of individuals with disabilities, further improving the University’s employment record for such persons.
The above efforts increased the University’s employment of such individuals to 1.85% by June 1, 2009, also enabling it to attain legally required employment of 2.1% in May 2011. In doing so, the University hopes to enable such employees to contribute to the University with a sense of fulfillment. In recognition of these efforts, Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward and other organizations have given the University certificates of appreciation. We have also received requests nationwide from those interested to visit the University.
Problems remain to be ironed out, however. One is that the majority of employees with disabilities in this new development are classified under limited-term employment not necessarily providing a stable work arrangement. Compared to the increase in staff employment, little progress has been made in faculty employment. No new work possibilities have been discussed, either, such as the employment of persons with developmental impairment, which does not fall within the scope of legally required employment of individuals with disabilities. It is part of the University’s social responsibilities to individually study and overcome these problems if we are to contribute meaningfully to society. The DSO must be in the front line for such objectives.
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