Looking for info on work & living in Japan for a disabled person.

  • Looking for info on work & living in Japan for a disabled person.

    Posted by schroth-sensei on July 19, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Hello Grisdale-san & ATF team,

    I have some questions I’d love to discuss with someone who has worked with and received help from the Japanese healthcare system, I believe Grisdale-san would be perfect in this case.

    Before I get to my questions, here’s a bit about me. My Name is Justin Schroth, I’m an American, and I wish to live and work in Japan. I am disabled due to Muscular Dystrophy and require the use of my motorized wheelchair as well as some assistance throughout the day. I have visited Japan on vacation on two occasions (with my brothers help), in 2008 (mostly the Tokyo area), and 2010 (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, and Tokyo), and loved every minute of it! So much so, that I decided to hire a Japanese tutor to learn the language, as well as worked on (and obtained) a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, in hopes to teach in Japan.

    Since obtaining my degree, I’ve been looking for work online from the States. However, I haven’t yet been successful, possibly because I may be competing online with many able-body people that employers choose over myself (some employers I’ve interviewed with have hinted as much). So, my plan now is to go to Japan and look for work in person some time next year.

    So, my first question is: Do you have any information on where best to start looking for work for someone who has a disability? Such as a hiring company (or no)? (I realize this may be difficult to answer, but anything will help)

    From my understanding, I can get assistance (e.g. a Helper) from the Japanese healthcare system if I am employed in Japan. Of course I expect to be evaluated prior to receiving such services. I do not know how much assistance I can get, and wonder how much it may cost out of pocket, I would love to hear some information on this from Grisdale-san perspective (as I believe the assistance I need may be similar). I’ve heard such Helper assistance is cheaper in Japan then the USA, I hope to work and be independent from family assistance. I wonder, is the healthcare related costs of a helper reasonable enough to be a part of a budget and not force me to live on instant ramen?

    Ideally if possible I would love to sit and chat/skype with Grisdale-san or someone who has gone through the process of obtaining assistance from Japanese healthcare and discuss the process. If such a thing has already been discussed in another post, then please point me in that direction.

    Thank you for your time,

    Justin Schroth

    Josh Grisdale replied 4 years, 11 months ago 2 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    July 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Hey Justin,

    First of all, great to hear you had some great experiences in Japan!  Please share about them in the forum here! (or on the Accessible Japan forum)

    Second of all, great to hear you are interested in living here!

    I will be honest, getting a foot (/wheel) in the door is essential and meeting people face to face can help a lot.  Companies are responsible for the care needs of their employees, so choosing a person with extra needs means extra work/money/open-mindedness.  Having a relationship with them, helps lessen the worry.

    Helper hours are evaluated by the city, and can very depending on the city/ward you live in based on their budget/policy.  The amount you pay is related to your tax bracket.  Most people pay less than $100/mo.


    • Find job that grants a visa
    • Find apartment, register as a citizen of that city at the city hall
    • Apply to the welfare department of the city
    • Visit a doctor registered to perform disability checks by the city
    • Take results to the city and get disability ID (may take 1-2 months)<br>
    • Get assigned a care work who will assess you as to how many hours you are eligible for
    • Make contracts with helper providers (may take 1-month or more)
    • Start using helpers

    So… it could take a few months to get into the system and you would need someone to support you in the meantime.

    Not impossible, but you would either need an employer, or be a student… or a spouse of a Japanese citizen (or someone with a valid visa) before the process can start.

    So, you want to teach English?

  • schroth-sensei

    July 21, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Hello Josh,

    Thank you for your quick and detailed response! I will gladly post a bit about my experiences and planning for my Japan vacations (I’ll start another post for that).

    I figured that meeting employers face to face would be best in finding employment, and hearing from you that it “can help a lot,” makes my decision to go in person to job hunt a little be easier.

    Also, thank you for the Process listed out, and timetable included on a individual items. This is what I was hoping for.

    You mentioned that students may be able to get support? In the past I considered taking some College courses in Japan, but couldn’t find any information on healthcare assistance for students. I don’t know if I’d proceed down that road now (although a degree in Eastern Studies involving Japanese Mythology and Legends would be fascinating), nevertheless, do you imply that College students studying abroad can receive similar help?

    As for your question, yes the goal is to teach the English Language, possibly as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) or even in a 1 on 1 situation. Particularly, something that allows me to make a sustainable living. I chose teaching because it can be rewarding seeing students light up when learning something new, and that it is a job that will work with my limited strength (due to my disability). Also, my Degree is a Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education, I chose this particular degree because I didn’t want to limit who I could teach (e.g. Students: Gifted, with Physical/Learning Disabilities, Language Learners, etc.). I’m not opposed to other work, however I worry that my limited Japanese Language Ability would make that difficult (at least until I improve my Ability, which is my intention while living there).

    Anyway, thank you again for your quick response, and I am so happy to find this website, it is a great boon for anyone living with a disability who wishes to visit Japan!

    Thank you for your time,

    Justin Schroth

  • Josh Grisdale

    July 21, 2019 at 7:59 pm


    Yes, I know a guy who is doing his PhD at Tokyo University and is getting services (I think it took 2 months), so studying is an option.

    Also, getting a company to provide a work visa for someone already established in Japan as a student is “less risk” than hiring someone from overseas and with only travel experience.  (ie they have shown they are not just going to go home if they get homesick, can interact with the government/city hall, have a place to live, etc)

    In that respect, coming over for even a 1 year language school program is even a good option.

    … but of course that is a lot of money…

    It is not really an issue on the government side as much as the company hiring someone because the person is their responsibility.


  • Josh Grisdale

    July 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Hi again Justin,

    I know people at CRCC and they have a track for people with disabilities.  It is mostly for current students but my friend suggested you should get in touch anyway.

    Here is their website: https://www.crccasia.com/

  • schroth-sensei

    July 23, 2019 at 3:25 am

    Hi Josh,

    Thank you for the information, I will definitely check out CRCC.

    Your thoughts on being “less risk” by studying and staying there makes sense. So, I will also look into studying abroad again, and consider if it is possible financially to do so.

    I really appreciate the help and suggestions.

    Thanks again,


  • Josh Grisdale

    July 23, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Any time!

    Please keep everyone posted 🙂

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