Together with Society

Santen proceeds activities for raising public awareness of visual impairment.

Provide opportunities to ophthalmologists


The Santen booth at the latest annual meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society had a section dedicated to offering a simulated experience of playing blind football. The booth provided the visitors, mostly medical professionals, with the opportunity to kick a real ball wearing a blindfold in a blind football simulation, thereby helping them experience what being blind is really like and deepen their own understanding of visual impairments. At the biennial scientific conference that was held in Manila in May 2023, we offered a unique Blind Football experience for delegates. More than 80 healthcare professionals had the opportunity.

Elementary school students can understand and experience vision and blindness


Since 2020, Santen has been implementing “Take Care of Your Eyes! Blind Challenge,” a program for elementary school students developed jointly with Houkago NPO Afterschool. Santen employees with visual impairments visit elementary schools as instructors to give students hands-on experience lessons on visual impairments while using blindfolds, tactile paving blocks, and other tools. This program aims to foster a good understanding of diversity and inclusion in children by increasing both their knowledge of vision and visual impairments and their motivation to voluntarily help visually impaired people in their everyday lives. 

Raising awareness about vision and visual impairment


Santen joined the “INCLUSIVE PARADE 2023 OSAKA” held in Japan. Employees and their families enjoyed the parade. In addition, at our booth, more than 100 people participated in an event featuring an eyesight self-check and the experience of being unable to see. One of the employees said that it served as an opportunity to reconsider our responsibility to accept, respect, and build an inclusive society for the future. (Source of photos: General incorporated association Inclusive Design Association)


In 2023, Santen and Be My Eyes hosted a 72-hour volunteering program where participating Santen employees got involved answering calls from users worldwide who are blind or have low vision through the Be My Eyes app. The company is the first Japan-based global company to take part in a Be My Eyes’ volunteering event. One of the employees said, “It's a very quick and easy way to make a positive difference in the life of a person with blindness or low vision”. Hans Jørgen Wiberg, the founder of Be My Eyes, said “The participants will look at the company and society in a different way after talking to Be My Eyes.

Activities for guide dog training


As of the end of March 2023, 848 guide dogs were working in Japan. However, given the estimate that at least 3,000 people need guide dogs, the reality is that the use of guide dogs has not yet sufficiently spread in the country. In addition, the number of active guide dogs has been continuously decreasing in recent years. Since 2013, Santen has continued to make donations for guide dog training, contributing to training 10 guide dogs to date. Moreover, our four business locations are equipped with automatic vendors, the sales revenue from which are partly donated to guide dog training.

Workshop for visually impaired university students to find their own strengths

Santen holds online workshops for visually impaired university students who intend to work at general companies. We offer this program in the hopes of allowing such students to interact with Santen employees with visual impairments and analyze themselves, find their own strengths—in other words, their own appeal to the labor market—as well as their own weaknesses in that market, and utilize those findings in their career development. The goal of this program is to assist visually impaired people in achieving economic autonomy.