Supporting the Visually Impaired
We also wish to help. If only we could get the sympathy of our customers...
The answer came in December, 2002, through a newspaper article in the Kyoto Shimbun. It read that our local facility for the visually impaired, the Kyoto Lighthouse, was lacking close to 250 million yen to rebuild its deteriorating building.
So in January 2003, we started donating a portion of what we have collected through the new One Yen Eye Fund, to support Kyoto Lighthouse. Fifteen months later, the new building was completed.
As a company that supports eye health, we keep on cooperating and financially aiding Kyoto Lighthouse to develop their new services and help people with eye problems.
About Kyoto Lighthouse
Kyoto Lighthouse is a comprehensive welfare facility for the disabled. It is focused on the visually impaired, and offers services like sorting out mail, writing on your behalf, reading books out loud, and managing a dormitory for people midway into losing their vision.
They also have a day-service center for disabled children, and offer everyday nursing needs to the disabled. Visually and physically impaired people of all ages are cared for.
Empowering Independence via Employment Support
The year 2013 was our 15th anniversary. We decided to take a new look at our original intentions, and decided that we need to give even more back to society. "Let's do something for the visually impaired and support them with what they truly need!" was the start of our new support program.
First, we visited visually impaired people in Kyoto Prefecture and asked them what wishes they have for their circumstances and place in society. "To get more self-confident" was a common answer across the board:
"There are tough times, but there's no need to feel down for being visually disabled!"
"There are still plenty of things you can do if you try, and it's a waste to give up without trying!"
We wondered whether there is something we could do to help these people gain confidence.
In 2014, we started our Empowering Independence via Employment Support Program, in which we offer working experience to visually impaired people with no previous experience. It is not only for seeing how companies work and what an everyday working life is, but also for you to realize your own skills, desires, and dreams.
"I didn't know I was capable of this!"
"I want to do more of THIS!"
"THIS is what I want to become!"
What Can You Do?
Have you ever seen a visually impaired person and felt
hesitant about how to help?
Visually impaired people often use a white cane to detect obstacles while walking, but dangerous situations still arise, even in familiar places. Especially crowded places, station platforms, and street crossings can be hazardous.
The simplest way to help is a straightforward pat on the shoulder and asking, "May I help you?" Go ahead and try it the next time. A small gesture from you is a feeling of relief and security for the other person.