Santen Activities for Inclusive Society
Santen proceeds activities for raising public awareness of visual impairment.
- BLIND EXPERIENCE Programs for Children
- Motivation Raising Programs for Visually Impaired Children
- Supporting Guide Dog Training
- Participating in Events Held by Support Organizations for the Visually Impaired
BLIND EXPERIENCE Programs for Children
Santen has begun collaboration with Houkago NPO Afterschool, a Japanese nonprofit organization, to develop and implement a program for elementary school children to understand visual impairments. With Santen visually impaired employees serving as instructors, the programs aim to increase children's knowledge on eyes, and teach them about visual impairments so that they will be ready to help people with such impairments in their everyday lives. Considering of COVID-19 pandemic, this program has been prepared an online and an in-person version.
Children learn a lot from this program. One of the participants said "I got a better understanding of how visually impaired people feel. I will take good care of my eyes." (Second-year elementary school student) The other said "I have learned that it is often very difficult for visual impaired people to understand what is going on around them. From now on, I will not leave things on tactile paving areas." (Fourth-year elementary school student)
Motivation Raising Programs for Visually Impaired Children
In partnership with JBFA, Santen supports JBFA's initiatives for visually impaired children's sports activities. These initiatives include Blind Football Kids Camps, which are intended to enable visually impaired children to foster their spirit of independence by engaging in sports without their parents' presence, and Junior Training Camps, which aim to train next-generation blind football players and foster leadership in them. Some of the children who have participated in these events now play a leading role in their local blind football teams. These events also provide the parents of participating children with opportunities to communicate with each other. On occasions such as opinion exchange meetings, participating parents often open their hearts to each other concerning difficulties and troubles they face in childrearing, a topic they have in common.
Santen employees also participate as supporters in these events and deepen their understanding of visual impairments. Participants from Santen commented: "I was able to reconfirm our values and social responsibility as a company dedicated to the ophthalmic field," or "This experience has further fueled my fervent desire to contribute to patients and their loved ones." The supporting activities have provided employees with valuable opportunities to reconfirm Santen's CORE PRINCIPLES.
Supporting Guide Dog Training
Donation and raising awareness for guide dog training (in Japan)
In Japan, approximately 1,000 guide dogs are at work throughout the country. However, it is estimated that at least 3,000 people are in need of a guide dog, and use of guide dogs has not yet spread under the current conditions. Since 2013, Santen has continuously made donations to fund guide dog training, resulting in nine trained guide dogs. Additionally, vending machines are installed at our four operational sites, and part of the sales from the machines are donated for guide dog training.
Donation and supporting a guide dog school (in the US)
Santen Inc. in the United States provides annual donation and support for "Guide Dogs for the Blind", an industry-leading guide dog school dedicated to serving people who are blind or have low vision from throughout the United States and Canada. In 2020 and 2021, this support was temporarily suspended due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participating in Events Held by Support Organizations for the Visually Impaired
Santen participates in volunteer as guide for the visually impaired at events such as exhibition of daily necessities for the visually impaired, festivals and sports day held by support organizations for the visually impaired to foster an awareness of patient perspectives in employees. In FY2020 and 2021, the event was canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, and employee participation was temporarily postponed, but we plan to continue those initiatives.