Welfare measures for persons with intellectual disabilities are implemented by prefectures and municipalities in accordance with central government statutes. A large number of professionals and relevant organizations/agencies are involved in the implementation. The chart below illustrates how the system is organized.
- 2. Certificate of Persons with Intellectual Disability
- 3. Welfare Services to Support Persons with Intellectual Disability Living at Home
- 4. Measures to Promote Social Participation
- 5. Institutional Services
2. Certificate of Persons with Intellectual Disability
1. Overview of the system
The Certificate of Children/Adults with Intellectual Disability, which takes the form of a handbook and is thus called “handbook” (Ryoiku-techo in Japanese), is issued with the purpose of providing consistent guidance and counseling for children and adults with intellectual disabilities as well as making it easier for them to receive various benefits and support.
Persons who are assessed to have intellectual disabilities at a ChildGuidanceCenter or a Rehabilitation Consultation Center for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities are issued Certificate of Persons with Intellectual Disability.
3. Degrees of disability
The degree of disability, which is written on the certificate, is as follows: “A” is for persons with a severe intellectual disability, and “B” is for persons with moderate and mild intellectual disabilities.
(1) Those under 18 years of age with severe intellectual disabilities
Those who have intellectual disability of the degrees described in 1) or 2) below and need constant care on a daily basis.
1) Children with an IQ less than 35, to whom one of the following applies.
- Requires help eating, dressing, going to the toilet, washing their faces, and other such daily activities, and experiences significant difficulty adjusting to social life.
- Has frequent epileptic seizures or other problematic behavior including incontinence, abnormal eating habits, agitation, or lethargy, and requires constant care and supervision.
2) Children with an IQ of less than 50 who are blind (or have severe low vision), deaf (or are severe hard of hearing), or with orthopedic disabilities.
(2) Adults 18 years of age or older with severe disabilities
Those who meet all conditions of either 1) and 2) and require constant care on a routine basis.
1) Persons with intellectual disabilities who have been assessed to have an IQ of less than 35 (or those with an IQ of less than 50 with orthopedic disability, hearing, or visual impairments corresponding to a grade one to three physical disability). 2) Those to whom one of the following applies.
- Has difficulty with such routine activities as eating, toileting, bathing, washing up, and dressing and requires individual guidance and care.
- Displays such problematic behavior as incontinence, abnormal eating habits, agitation, lethargy, and hyperactivity and requires constant care and guidance.
Those with milder disabilities
4. Application procedures
Fill out an application for the Certificate of Persons with Intellectual Disability and submit it, together with a photograph, to the head of the Welfare Office or mayor in cases of towns and villages where there is no Welfare Office. The application is subsequently sent to the prefectural governor or the mayor in the case of designated cities. As a rule, persons with intellectual disabilities must undergo a follow-up evaluation on eligibility every two years at a ChildGuidanceCenter or a RehabilitationConsultationCenter for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
5. Main services offered to certificate holders
(1) Consistent guidance and consultations (2) Day services (3) Provision of technical aids and equipments (4) Short stay programs (5) Exemption from or reduction of national and local government taxes (6) Priority for admission to public housing (7) Discounted tickets for Japan Railways and other transportation
3. Welfare Services to Support Persons with Intellectual Disability Living at Home
1. Home help services
Home helpers visit homes where persons with intellectual disabilities live and help them with bathing, housework, and other activities so that they are able to live at home.
2. Short stay programs
Persons with intellectual disabilities can be cared in the facilities for a short period of time when a family caregiver for them at home is unable to do so due to illness or for some other reason.
3. Day services
Persons with intellectual disabilities who are living at home can go to day care centers and take part in cultural activities or receive therapy, designed to enable their independence and enrich their lives.
4. Group homes
Group homes for persons with intellectual disabilities are aimed to facilitate their independence and provide a place in the community where small groups of individuals can live and eat with the help of various support services.
5. Lease or provision of technical aids and equipments for daily living
Technical aids and equipments necessary to facilitate daily living are leased or provided to persons with intellectual disabilities who have difficulty living at home. Special mats, special toilets, fire alarms, automatic fire extinguishers, helmet, and electromagnetic cookers are among other items made available.
6. Apprenticeship on commission
Persons with intellectual disabilities can be placed in the care of a vocational guardian for up to a period of one year, who can provide them with guidance on completing daily tasks and teach them vocational skills. This system is designed to prepare them with the necessary skills for having and keeping a job. The vocational guardian who is eager to rehabilitate and support persons with intellectual disabilities is a owner of the firm and is admitted by a director of Welfare Office.
7. Services to support daily living
Daily life support centers provide consultation services and guidance to help persons with intellectual disabilities living in the community. These centers are established within facilities for persons with intellectual disabilities designated by prefectural governors and mayors of designated and core cities, such as dormitories for persons with intellectual disabilities who are employed in company, rehabilitation facilities, sheltered workshops, and resource development centers.
4. Measures to Promote Social Participation
1. Training programs for independent living
Individualized and intensive guidance for up to 6 months on basic knowledge and skills necessary for living independently and working are provided to persons with intellectual disabilities who live in various institutions.
2. Industrial workshops
Industrial workshops employ persons with intellectual disabilities who have working skills but cannot be employed at regular companies because of difficulties in human relations, health management and other issues. The workshops promote social independence by offering for living and health management and other considerations.
3. Day programs in the community
Parents’ Association for persons with intellectual disabilities provide appropriate daily activity training, job guidance to support persons with intellectual disabilities to work at non-residential facilities. In order to improve vocational skills, on the job training is also provided at the sheltered workshops in the community.
5. Institutional Services
1. Rehabilitation and care centers
Rehabilitation and care centers play a vital role in providing guidance and training to enhance the community participation of persons with intellectual disabilities who are in need of sufficient supervision or who have difficulty in finding employment.
The following is kinds of facilities.
a. Rehabilitation center for persons with intellectual disabilities
These centers are for persons age 18 or older (or 15 or older in special cases). They provide protection as well as necessary guidance and therapy. There are two types of centers; residential and non-residential.
b. Sheltered workshops for persons with intellectual disabilities
These are for persons age 18 or older (or 15 or older in special cases) who have difficulty to be employed. They provide jobs and training necessary for leading independent living. There are sheltered workshops with residential facilities as well as non-residential. Persons receive wage for the work done here.
c. Dormitories for employees with intellectual disabilities
These dormitories are for the employees aged 15 or older who have completed programs at facilities for children with intellectual disabilities, rehabilitation centers for persons with intellectual disabilities, or sheltered workshops for persons with intellectual disabilities and are independent in self-care. The dormitories provide accommodations and other facilities and provide advice and guidance necessary for leading an independent living.
d. Welfare homes for persons with intellectual disabilities
These homes provide inexpensive accommodations and living support services for persons with intellectual disabilities who are in need of housing due to family circumstances or their family’s housing conditions.
e. Day service centers for persons with disabilities
These centers offer cultural activities and functional training to persons with intellectual disabilities who live at home and cannot work to foster their independence and enrich their lives.