Hello. I made an anonymous account just so I can post this topic since it's a touchy subject. And I don't want this to impede my future career in Korea or in Busan if my regular id is used;.
I have a mild disability. My hands are not really fully-functional, especially in cold weather. I've been in Korea for almost 3 years and I'm currently looking for a new contract. I just came back from a job interview, where my disability was really showing because of the below-freezing temperature. One of the fist things I was asked is about my hands. I explained my disability (very uncomfortably, I might add since this is the fist time I was asked during an interview) and I assured him that there was no way it will affect or impede my ability to teach English, . At that time,I referred to my 2 1/2 successful years teaching in Korea. Just at that time, my interview was stopped. He told me that he is looking for "normal" people for his hogwan because appearance and image in Korea is very important. . I told him that my experience would really be a benefit to his school. He then put the nail in the coffin by saying that there are several normal looking people with the same experience I have.
Now, my question is this: Is this commonplace for hogwans to discriminate because of certain disabilities or is this the exception? If so, I know alot of "normal" people who teach at hogwans in Busan and other cities; one has post-traumatic stress syndrome, one has Ausburger's and another is just plain crazy. I've heard alot of others who were schizophrenic or manic depressant who have had decent careers as ESL teachers in Korea as long as they stayed medicated. Since these disabilities can be hidden alot easier then physical, they can get jobs much easier.because they look the part, even though mental handicaps are looked down upon in most Asian countries..