The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity Proceedings 2020 is made available annually for free and open access by the Center on Disability Studies, ISSN 2641-6115. Explore a handful of publications ranging from the conference topics: Inclusion, Employment, Health & Wellbeing, Postsecondary Education, and PreK to Grade 12 Education.


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Sunday, March 1st

Difficulties in the Workplace for People with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Literature Review

Yumi Yuzawa, Tanzawa Hospital
Jun Yaeda, University of Tsukuba

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

The purpose of the study was to identify the factors behind workplace problems of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and to seek methods of employment support that would lead them to attain their goals. Results found that impulsivity was an important predictor of vocational functioning of BPD. Another factor is that their motivation to work passionately can be a strength. Though, the stigma still exists that they have little chance of employment. The lack of collaboration between mental health and vocational rehabilitation was discussed.

Disability and Disaster: What to Know - What to Do

Genesis M. K. Leong, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Robert Stodden, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Joseph Kimuli Balikuddembe, Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

How do we advance the interdisciplinary aspects of the fields of disability studies and disaster studies by featuring and creating new evidence-based knowledge previously not shared with either field? And ultimately how will we weave disability cultures and disability-inclusive designs regarding persons with disabilities to be interwoven within the field of disaster studies? This article will share the beginning of a collaborative project between the Center on Disability Studies, USA, and Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, China, aimed to develop a participant framework anticipated to be implemented as a symposium at the 36th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Disaster (#PacRim2021). In addition, this article will provide presentation discussions of participant personal and expertise feedback relating to the development of the symposium topics.

Examining the (Lack of) Impact the #Disabilitytoowhite Movement has had on Higher Ed Disability Service Provision

Frederic Fovet, Royal Roads University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

There is much talk of intersectionality within critical studies in academia, and yet there continues to be a significant disconnect between discourse and practice in this respect on campuses. In 2016, the #disabilitytoowhite movement brought attention to the pressing lack of focus on intersectionality within the Disability movement. It created debate, gave rise to emotion and offered hope that the Disability movement, and more particularly disability service provision, advocacy and scholarship within academia, might take notice and address this gap. Almost four years on, the sad observation has to be that little has changed. The author first examines his experience as accessibility consultant within higher education to explore the tension that exist with regards to race in higher ed disability service provision, and examines the hope that #disabilitytoowhite offered a change. The second part of the paper explores specific current areas of concerns. The third section offers suggestions that might enable accessibility services to address this tension and to shift practices in order to embed intersectionality in service provision.

Exploring the Potential of Universal Design for Learning with Regards to Mental Health Issues in Higher Education

Frederic Fovet, Royal Roads University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

The paper explores the potential of universal design for learning (UDL) in addressing mental health (MH) issues within higher education (HE) teaching and learning, from a multi-disciplinary perspective. It examines first the hurdles which are generically reported to accessibility services by students. It then explores the tension instructors report with regards to addressing students' mental health issues in the classroom. Lastly, the paper examines UDL solutions which are being proposed by instructional designers, from a design perspective, to minimize the impact of mental health issues within the learning experience.

For a Sustainable Inclusive 21st Century: What We Must Learn from Japanese Eugenic Protection Act

Toru Furui, Osaka Kawasaki Rehabilitation University
Masayo Furui, Society for Health and Life of People with Cerebral Palsy

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly tells us that eugenics had not died with Nazi ideologies. Current COVID-19 discussions emphasize on ‘triage’ and ‘social distance,’ all of which impacts and continues to threaten the lives of people with disabilities, higher-risked, and aging populations. The current pandemic is a warning that we all must understand and mitigate our internalized eugenic ideology so that our 21st century will be sustainable and inclusive for all. Otherwise, we all will be at risk of being killed because we’ve reached society’s social-limited-age. In order to gain a better understanding society must become aware of historical events through the voice of a person with a disability. Therefore, this paper will highlight the infringements on reproductive rights and basic human-rights in the 20th century through one family’s story.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Meeting the Needs of Australian University Students with ‘Hidden Disabilities’ in the Classroom

Jane Hickey, Victoria University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Australian universities have a legal and ethical responsibility to create inclusive learning environments for all students with disability. This article explores the understanding of ‘hidden disability’ amongst a group of Australian university academics and the triumphs and challenges they face as they strive to provide and foster an inclusive classroom.

Increasing Inclusion of Students with Complex Needs in Post-Secondary Education

Jeffery Hart, Western Washington University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Students with complex needs—intellectual and developmental disabilities—are often marginalized in post-secondary education settings. We present our three phase plan approach to inclusion for a college setting at the Western Washington University. We outline the process used to develop an inclusive program offering students with complex needs opportunities to experience campus life and to become a student at the institution.

Normalizing Non-Neutral: Towards an Inclusive Acting Pedagogy

Christie Honoré, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

This paper uses the social model of disability to provide an overview of the unseen obstacles and microaggressions that drama students with disabilities often face when navigating an artistic and academic landscape designed for their non-disabled peers, and advocates for disability awareness and allyship on the part of instructors.

Opening Plenary: Dr. Patricia Morrissey and Tia Neils

Genesis M. K. Leong, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Joshua Cruz, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Discussion between Dr. Patricia Morrissey, Center on Disability Studies (CDS) director; and Tia Neils, The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH) policy and advocacy director and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) founding member at the 35th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity on March 2, 2020, in Hawai'i. Included in this article are introductions to self-advocacy organizations (i.e., TASH, SABE, SARTAC⁠), employment and grant funding for leadership projects, and advice for self-advocates, parents, educators, other professionals and employers.

PacRim2020: Inclusion through Access to Justice

Areta K. Guthrey, The Disability Information Network

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

During the PacRim 2020 Conference, the Disability Information Network presented a program describing barriers that people with disabilities face in accessing justice through the traditional court system; discussing alternate strategies to address the problem, such as administrative complaints to federal agencies, and the use of state and local advocacy systems.

Reasonable Accommodation and Information Accessibility by Various Formats the Difference Between Braille, Sign Language, and Speech Format

Yoshimi Matsuzaki, Department of International & Cultural Studies and Inclusive Education Support Division, Tsuda University
Wakaba Hamamatsu, Graduate School of International & Cultural Studies and Inclusive Education Support Division, Tsuda University
Kuniomi Shibata, Department of International & Cultural Studies and Inclusive Education Support Division, Tsuda University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Information accessibility for persons with visual disabilities is the transformation into text data, braille or speech format. For persons with hearing disabilities, information accessibility includes closed-captioning, notetaking, and sign language translation services. Although such methods are standard and essential, this paper will discuss possible differences in comprehensibility between these various formats. We designed a research project, ‘Reasonable Accommodations of Reading Accessibility (RARA),’ to evaluate the consistency of academic quality in braille, sign language, and speech formats. First, we will focus on the features of the Japanese language, because these features could possibly affect the differences in the understanding among each means of conveying. Second, we introduce two concepts, Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP), as key factors in our research project. Third, we will discuss the outcomes of interviews from 2018 that targeted each two users of braille and of sign language. The outcomes suggested mainly about unique ways of understanding content in various means of transmission. Finally, we will outline the present phase of the RARA project.

Redefinition of Language Learning Disabilities and the Ways to Learn English as a Second Language

Chikae Kaihara, Tsuda University
Kuniomi Shibata, Tsuda University

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

This paper explains why language learning disabilities need to be redefined from the aspects of the research histories of learning disability and language learning disabilities and the history of English education policy in Japan and suggests the effective ways to learn English for children with ‘New Language Learning Disabilities (N-LLD).’

Supporting Intentional Communication Skills for Children with Profound and Intellectual Multiple Disabilities

Annika Endres, Universität Koblenz-Landau

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

This study analyzes pedagogical conditions for the intervention of intentional communication (IC) for children with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD). Results indicate that the engagement of reference persons is a central component in the intervention of IC.

The Impacts of Climate Change on Persons with Disabilities: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Disability, Climate Change and Policy Studies

Genesis M. K. Leong, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

The overall intent of this study is to address the impacts and expected impacts of climate change and disasters on persons with disabilities (PWD), while exploring international policies for resilience initiatives. As a portion of the overall study, this paper was motivated by the recent United Nations Human Rights Council (UN-HRC) (2019) resolution adoption on climate change and the rights of persons with disabilities, which urges governments to adopt a disability-inclusive approach when dealing with climate change strategies. The objective of this paper is to explore academia & research’s role in adaptive capacity approaches to adopting the UN-HRC resolution through a multidisciplinary intersection of disability, climate change and policy studies. The objective is supported by empirical research, theoretical models, and inclusive strategies aimed to improve the safety and quality of life for PWD. This paper’s scope is covered through the development of a resilience framework that includes vulnerability index: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], 2008); and three sets of engagement: theory, application, and praxis (Cho, Crenshaw, & McCall, 2013). Ultimately, the paper’s proposed framework will present an evidence-based, disability-inclusive resilience approach to addressing climate change aimed to influence public perception and policy decision-making. This paper is a tool for disability, climate change, and policy studies academics/researchers, and government officials interested in academia & research’s contribution to resilience planning.

The Relationship Between Dementia Severity and Communicative Ability from a Family Caregiver’s Perspective

Takako Yoshimura, Kyoto University of Advanced Science
Aiko Osawa, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

The relationship between dementia severity in persons with dementia (PWD) and communicative ability from the perspective of their family caregivers was investigated. There was a significant correlation between Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) and communicative abilities in Communicative Abilities of Daily Living Family Questionnaire (CADL-FQ), but not between CDR and language functions in CADL-FQ. Family caregivers considered that interpersonal interactions with a degenerative process might be affected by communicative abilities, or language use in context, not by issues in language functions alone. We discussed ways to intervene for communicative abilities in dementia to support the well-being of PWD and their family caregivers.

The Science Communication Tour with a Sign Language Interpreter

Miki Namatame, Tsukuba University of Technology
Masami Kitamura, Tsukuba University of Technology
Seiji Iwasaki, National Museum of Nature and Science

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

In February 2018, 70-people with hearing loss indicated the lack of necessary information or knowledge at museums in Japan. The visitors who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing want cooperation with sign language interpreters in museums. The researchers planned a tour with a sign language interpreter in the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan, on 29th April 2019. The evaluation of the tour with sign language interpreters indicated that the levels of effectiveness, satisfaction, and necessity were high, and that the level of learnability by sign language was acceptable but in writing was low. Simultaneously, this experimental guided tour showed that sign language was necessary to improve information accessibility and science communication in science museums for d/Deaf visitors facilitated by sign language in Japan.

Trend of Employment Style and Wage System for Persons with Disabilities in Japan

Fumiko Tomita, Saitama Prefectural University
Jun Yaeda, University of Tsukuba

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

A case study of a Japanese special subsidiary small company was illustrated in relation to the traditional employment style and wage systems. Results found that the employees with disabilities received much lower wages, showed lower productivity, had less work duties and fewer job positions.

Website for Facilitating Collaborative Assistive Technology Provision with 3D Printing Technology

Takashi Watanabe, Nihon Fukushi University, Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Human Care Engineering
Mamoru Iwabuchi, Waseda University, School of Human
Atsushi Shichi, Self-employed Engineer
Noriyuki Tejima, Ritsumeikan University, Department of Robotics
Hisatoshi Ueda, Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Health Sciences

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

To provide better assistive technology services using 3D printing technology in local communities, a database, Support System for Assistive Technology (SS-AT) was created. SS-AT contains data on various types of 3D printable assistive devices along with tips from experts and users with disabilities. By implementing posting functions, SS-AT allows users to share helpful information with others.