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UH Manoa School of Social Work Named Employer of the Year by National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Hawaii Division

University of Hawaiʻi
Jackie Graessle, (808) 956-3469
School of Social Work
Kate Wester, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Nov 12, 2003

HONOLULU — The School of Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was recently awarded the Employer of the Year award by the Hawaiʻi Division of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The award recognizes employers who have made significant contributions toward the hiring and retention of workers with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities.

In accepting the award, School of Social Work Interim Dean Jon Matsuoka said, "Though I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the UH Mānoa School of Social Work, I hope for the day when all employers consider and accommodate the needs of those with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities."

The School of Social Work was nominated by Kai Duponte, an employee of the school, who said that the administration has been a non-labeling one where making reasonable accommodations seems to come naturally.

"I am not made to feel embarrassed or ʻsecond class.‘ I also feel secure that, should mobility or fatigue become more of an issue for me, the school would be willing to make additional, reasonable accommodations for me. The social work value of advocating for vulnerable populations is certainly alive and well here," said Duponte.

The school was honored at an awards ceremony held at the Ala Moana Hotel in October.

NOTE TO MEDIA: A photo of Interim Dean Jon Matsuoka and employee Kai Duponte is available via e-mail by contacting Kate Wester at (808) 956-9095 or e-mail