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Towards accessible science laboratories in Japan

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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.

References

  1. National Survey of Supports for Students with Disabilities in Higher Education Settings in Japan (Japan Student Service Organization, 2021); https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/statistics/shougai_gakusei/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2022/07/15/fy2018_survey.pdf.

  2. Annual Report on Government Measures for Persons with Disabilities (Summary) 2018 (Cabinet Office Japan, 2018); https://www8.cao.go.jp/shougai/english/annualreport/2018/index-pdf.html.

  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); https://nsf-gov-resources.nsf.gov/2022-10/nsf23_1.pdf.

  5. Inclusive Design Laboratory Project is Featured in a Magazine [Japanese] (Yamato Scientific Co., Ltd., 2022); https://www.yamato-net.co.jp/topics/detail/1113/.

  6. Barrier-free Research: Designing an Accessible Laboratory (The University of Tokyo, Research Center for Advanced Scicnce and Technology, 2020); https://www.rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/research/frontrunner_namiki.html.

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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). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-023-00553-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-023-00553-3

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