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CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility
Committed to People, Committed to the Future.

Universal Design

Policy Related to Universal Design

Toshiba Group is promoting universal design (UD) to contribute to realization of a society where everyone can live at ease and in comfort regardless of age, gender and abilities.
In 2007, with a view to promoting universal design throughout Toshiba Group, particularly with the support of Universal Design Working Group (WG), we established Toshiba Group UD Philosophy, UD Vision and UD Guidelines.

Toshiba Group Universal Design Philosophy

We create products attuned to people's aspirations. Toshiba Group contributes to realization of a society where everyone can live at ease and in comfort regardless of age, gender and abilities

Toshiba Group Universal Design Vision

Transforming “can't use” to “able to use”, “hard to use” to “easy to use”, Toshiba's universal design aims to create products accessible and safe to use for everyone. With the perpetual drive for innovation, Toshiba continues to explore ways to create more convenient and easier to use products which, in our hope, will meet even greater number of peoples' standard for “want to use”.

Toshiba Group Universal Design Guidelines

Toshiba Group Universal Design Guidelines

・Intuitive use
・Simple use
・Low physical effort
・Equitable use
・Safety and minimal anxiety

(The Guidelines consists of the above five main principles and 15 sub principles.)

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Universal Design Promotion Structure

The Universal Design (UD) Promotion Working Group (WG) established in 2005 is striving to incorporate the universal design concept in development steps and is promoting dissemination of information on Toshiba's universal design internally and externally.

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UD Advisor System

Buttons with tangible letters
Buttons with raised letterings
Examining buttons
Examining buttons

In FY2007, Toshiba Group initiated a UD advisor system and invited employees with disabilities to register with the system with a view to obtaining their cooperation in the development and evaluation of UD products, irrespective of the divisions to which they belong.

In FY2010, the Group expanded the scope to include foreign national employees in order to step up UD promotion to meet the needs of overseas markets, including emerging economies.

In FY2012, those who were not accustomed to reading braille, including UD advisors as well as adventitiously blind and people with poor eyesight, evaluated elevator buttons with raised letterings that we developed for Keio Corporation. In order to develop railroad station elevators that can be used easily by as many people as possible, we designed raised letterings for elevator floor buttons that can be easily read not only by sight but also by touch. These raised letterings buttons have been in use at Keio Railway Chofu station since August 2012.

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Development of Universal Design Products

In developing products related to a wide range of fields such as home appliances, housing facilities, information equipment, and public facilities, Toshiba adopts the human-centered design process emphasizing users' perspectives, incorporating the needs of many customers as possible.
UD at Toshiba Design Center

External Evaluation: Winner of German Universal Design Awards in 2013

External Evaluation: Winner of German Universal Design Awards in 2013
Machine-Room-Less Elevator SPACEL-GR
Machine-Room-Less Elevator SPACEL-GR
Easy-Access Electric Fan Packaging
Easy-Access Electric Fan Packaging

In February 2013,Toshiba Group won the Universal Design Awards in Germany for "Machine-Room-Less Elevator SPACEL-GR", and for "Easy-Access Electric Fan Packaging",which are evaluated by a group experts.

Key points about the award-winning products

Machine-Room-Less Elevator SPACEL-GR

  • Easy to read by sight: The design of the LCD indicator screen was certified as the industry’s first color universal design in Japan. The screen is designed to present information for daily use and emergencies in multiple languages.
  • Easy to read by touch: Prototypes of operation buttons with raised letterings were repeatedly redesigned with letters of different shapes and sizes in order to optimize the design based on evaluations by visually disabled people.
    For details, please see the information page(Japanese).

Easy-Access Electric Fan Packaging

  • Reduces physical burden: The shape of the box was redesigned so that even small-sized person and those with weak arms can work from a stable, comfortable posture.
  • Intuitive use: The wide opening makes it possible to work while keeping the entire operation in view so that it is easy to understand the functions of the different parts.
    For details, please see the information page (Japanese).
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These international design awards are organized by the Hannover-based Universal Design Association and Universal Design GmbH in Germany. There are two universal design awards given in Germany: the Universal Design Award given by an expert review committee led by Professor Fritz Frenkler of the Technical University of Munich and the Universal Design Consumer Favorite Award selected by 100 general consumers.

Toshiba Initiative: Participation in the International Conference for Universal Design in Fukuoka 2012

International Conference for Universal Design in Fukuoka
International Conference for Universal Design in Fukuoka

At the International Conference for Universal Design held in Fukuoka in October 2012, Toshiba Group displayed our products at our company booth. In addition to the design of Easy-Access Electric Fan Packaging, which won a German Universal Design Award in 2013, we exhibited a Heavy Ion Radiotherapy System, an air conditioner (with a voice controller), and elevator buttons with raised letterings developed for Keio Corporation. We widely advertised Toshiba Group’s UD products that we have developed in a wide range of areas, from home appliances to industrial machines. We also interviewed visitors to listen to their opinions and to collect information on international UD trends in order to further promote universal design.

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Promotion of Universal Design

Toshiba's UD efforts have created a great impact on the quality of life for many people. Toshiba recognizes that such efforts should be communicated to as many people as possible, and participates in the International Association for Universal Design, Association for Electric Home Appliances, etc. to create social awareness on universal design.

Reference site: International Association for Universal Design

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