A clear trend is seen in Japan in advancing the employment of workers with disabilities. The new amendments in ‘the Act on Employment Promotion etc. of Persons with Disabilities’ suggest companies to increase the rate of employment for workers with disabilities. Due to lack of knowledge and experiences, the retention rate of workers with intellectual disabilities remains low. It is necessary to extend case-based approaches for these workers relying on ongoing good practices.Methods
From the reports at the Japan Organisation for Employment of the Elderly, Persons with Disabilities and Job Seekers, 128 workplace-level good practices for supporting workers with intellectual disabilities were identified. The approaches taken by these practices were categorised into five technical areas by a team of well-experienced occupational health practitioners. We analysed common features and mutual relationships of these approaches.Results
While the size and industry of the corresponding companies were different, several key trends could be extracted from these good practices. Of 128 examples of support for workers with intellectual disabilities, 51 were about ‘work methods’, 28 about ‘employment adjustment’, 22 about ‘securing work-life balance’, 13 about ‘improving communication’ and 10 about ‘workplace environment’. It was striking that the workplaces implemented these practices on plural areas. Three key trends could be thus extracted; (a) implementation of the practices covering multiple technical areas, (b) combining work methods and employment adjustment as essential areas for supporting workers with intellectual disabilities, and (c) Improving communication and workplace environment as areas further taken in advancing the support of these workers.Conclusion
The extracted three key trends in good practices for workers with intellectual disabilities suggest the importance of comprehensive support measures addressing the multifaceted measures. ‘Work methods’ and ‘employment adjustment’ are essential areas for this support, and ‘improving communication’ and ‘workplace environment’ are applicable for extending the support.