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UD and an evaluation of organization potential –Proposal for a mature evaluation method for UD-related processes–

Masayoshi Watanabe

Visiting Professor, IWATE University / Councilor, Human centered design Organization: Japan

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This lecture gives a brief overview of the current situation of persons with disabilities in Japan, the advancing aging population, and initiatives by the government to date. It describes various issues in the approach of these initiatives to date and the outlook for measures to resolve these issues.

While everybody agrees with the concept of UD, there is considerable difficulty involved in the actual production of UD products that will make this concept a reality. Efforts to come up with the most suitable methods for making UD products into available commodities are undergoing a long trial and error process on the work floor in companies.

To promote the development of UD products, consideration of the methodology for analyzing (UD product evaluation) the advantages and disadvantages of UD products themselves, which are the deliverables of corporate activities, has been promoted until now. By indicating their weaknesses as UD products, evaluations can promote improvements in products through a review process.

However, there is a limit to methods which evaluate the products alone. This is because although evaluations may be able to indicate the shortcomings of UD products, they fail to offer ways to resolve them. Furthermore, the development of UD products cannot be sufficiently achieved through the efforts of one part of a design department or technical department alone. On the contrary, it has been indicated that an awareness of corporate management and the development of an organizational framework based on this philosophy are vital in establishing UD as a corporate philosophy.

To resolve these problems, a mature evaluation method of the potential of organizations which plan, design and produce UD products is proposed in this lecture. This can provide enterprises intending to plan, design and produce UD products a guide for improving UD-related processes. It also makes it possible to provide a guide for the planning of UD-related policies and their promoters as information that will assist in making decisions in the effective allocation of policy resources.

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