Abstract

Rapidly mounting societal costs have compelled a shift in the Japanese social welfare system to an emphasis on self-sufficiency and societal integration. Within this context, the Services and Support for Persons with Disabilities Act was implemented in 2006. Soon afterwards, however, the issue of compensation—the wages to workers of Vocational Aid Centers (VACs) and the obligation of workers to pay VACs for benefits they receive— prompted the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to issue in 2007 a five-year plan targeted at doubling the wages of VAC workers. Under the act, the ministry directed the governors of the nation’s prefectural governments to collaborate with the private sector in support of efforts to raise the wages paid to those working at VACs and similar facilities. In this paper, we examine the design management techniques employed within the product development and promotional stages of two particularly successful projects.We find five factors behind their success: (1) utilization of professional staff members; (2) differentiation from competitors; (3) high-quality packaging by professional designers; (4) media exposure; and (5) managerial enthusiasm for business expansion. Lastly we compare these results with those of a project in Shizuoka Prefecture, which was previously researched by the lead author. Through this investigation, we hope to deepen our understanding of universal design management techniques in support of VAC facilities and services.

Keywords

universal design, design management, people with disabilities

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Universal Design Management for Vocational Aid Centers

Rapidly mounting societal costs have compelled a shift in the Japanese social welfare system to an emphasis on self-sufficiency and societal integration. Within this context, the Services and Support for Persons with Disabilities Act was implemented in 2006. Soon afterwards, however, the issue of compensation—the wages to workers of Vocational Aid Centers (VACs) and the obligation of workers to pay VACs for benefits they receive— prompted the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to issue in 2007 a five-year plan targeted at doubling the wages of VAC workers. Under the act, the ministry directed the governors of the nation’s prefectural governments to collaborate with the private sector in support of efforts to raise the wages paid to those working at VACs and similar facilities. In this paper, we examine the design management techniques employed within the product development and promotional stages of two particularly successful projects.We find five factors behind their success: (1) utilization of professional staff members; (2) differentiation from competitors; (3) high-quality packaging by professional designers; (4) media exposure; and (5) managerial enthusiasm for business expansion. Lastly we compare these results with those of a project in Shizuoka Prefecture, which was previously researched by the lead author. Through this investigation, we hope to deepen our understanding of universal design management techniques in support of VAC facilities and services.

 

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