People with disabilities increase diversity in the workplace and often bring with them heightened creativity, problem-solving abilities and resilience.1 In a survey of U.S. companies employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, nearly three-quarters of employers said it was a positive experience. Of those, almost one-third said the experience exceeded their expectations.2
Yet, in many parts of the world, social bias against people with physical and intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses still exists.3 In Japan, schools for students with mental and intellectual challenges don’t teach computer skills. Faced with these barriers, securing meaningful employment can be especially difficult.
BNY Mellon saw a chance to make a positive impact on the community and advance our goal to help people build next-generation technology and digital skills. We are partnering with volunteer clearinghouse HandsOn Tokyo to present LIVES TOKYO, a monthly session to teach information technology (IT) skills to junior high and high school students with mental and intellectual challenges. The experience will increase students’ confidence and their likelihood of employment in the digitized workplace. Our sponsorship pays for computer equipment, materials and instructors for about 200 students over the course of a year.
“To achieve the LIVES TOKYO mission,” said Motoko Kawaguchi, Executive Director, Hands On Tokyo, “we believe being in close contact and having good direct relationships with people with mental and intellectual challenges are the key factors. This program will give BNY Mellon members and Hands On Tokyo volunteers, who rarely get to work closely with people with disabilities, a great opportunity to work together in a fun atmosphere and understand one another.”
1 “Disabilities in the workplace: are we failing our disabled workforce?” by Holly O'Mahony, April 17, 2017
2 Employing People with Intellectual and Development Disabilities, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), 2014
3 “Uncovering the ‘culture of shame’ surrounding disability in Japan,” by Priyanka Mogul, IPF, October 13, 2016