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Towards accessible science laboratories in Japan


The participation of people with disabilities in higher education in STEM fields in Japan is significantly lower than the proportion of the general population. Here, I discuss our work building an inclusive laboratory, university initiatives to improve accessibility and explain the need for additional support for researchers with disabilities.

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Fig. 1: Wheelchair-accessible sink from Yamato Scientific Co., Ltd. and GK Sekkei Inc.
Fig. 2: Accessing a microscope by standing wheelchair.


  1. National Survey of Supports for Students with Disabilities in Higher Education Settings in Japan (Japan Student Service Organization, 2021);

  2. Annual Report on Government Measures for Persons with Disabilities (Summary) 2018 (Cabinet Office Japan, 2018);

  3. Sukhai, M. A. & Mohler, C. E. Essential requirements and academic accommodations in the sciences. In Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences 117–128 (Academic Press, 2017).

  4. Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (National Science Foundation, 2023);

  5. Inclusive Design Laboratory Project is Featured in a Magazine [Japanese] (Yamato Scientific Co., Ltd., 2022);

  6. Barrier-free Research: Designing an Accessible Laboratory (The University of Tokyo, Research Center for Advanced Scicnce and Technology, 2020);

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Correspondence to Shigehiro Namiki.

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The author declares no competing interests.

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Namiki, S. Towards accessible science laboratories in Japan. Nat Rev Chem 7, 819–820 (2023).

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