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

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 FY2013, we conducted a survey on the working environment, in which diverse employees are working together, as well as a survey on differences in handwriting style between nationalities. Also, in the development of the DaisyRings™ text-to-speech transliteration support system that utilize speech synthesis technology, we interviewed UD advisors with visual disabilities to study how intelligible and understandable text reading was. Since December 2013, we have been providing reading volunteers and library staffs with free access to an Internet system for a verification experiment. This system is designed to help library staffs, reading volunteers and teachers to create content for people with visual disabilities and dyslexia. The speech synthesis technology used in this system is also used for the voice guidance terminals at the Toshiba Science Museum.

Detailed product information (Japanese)

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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

Activity Example: Releasing a lightweight and user friendly cleaner

Machine-Room-Less Elevator SPACEL-GR
Cyclone cleaner
Cyclone cleaner

Toshiba released compact, lightweight cyclone cleaners (main body weights: 2.3 kg/2.9 kg/3.3 kg) that are friendly to users who usually hold the cleaner body during cleaning. The main body is designed to be as smooth as possible to protect clothes from getting caught in the machine while the user is holding the cleaner. The cleaner is also designed to easily pass through narrow spaces and move around when cleaning is done with the main body placed on the floor. It also has a number of other features, such as being lightweight and capable of operation without extra force, and the use of the “Rakuwaza Easy Skill Grip” mechanism to reduce the burden on the wrist and to allow natural posture during cleaning.

Website for information on the cyclone cleaner (Japanese)

Website for information on Toshiba Universal Design and cleaners (Japanese)

Activity Example: Universal design exhibition at the Toshiba Science Museum

Guidance terminal
Guidance terminal
Exhibition at the museum
Exhibition at the museum

In January 2014, the Toshiba Science Museum opened on the second floor of the Smart Community Center in front of Kawasaki Station.
The museum presents exhibitions designed for visitors with baby carriages and visitors in wheelchairs, provides guided tour service by attendants in Japanese, English and Chinese, and makes guidance terminals available that introduce visitors to exhibits using speech, characters and images in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean in the history section. There are also facilities such as a multi-purpose toilet room that includes diaper changing tables and ostomate* friendly toilets, so that a wide range of visitors can enjoy the exhibitions.

Website of the Toshiba Science Museum

* Ostomate: a person with an artificial anus or bladder due to disease or disability

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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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