The Mission of the ADF Japan

To Promote Accessibility by Knowing Other People's Inconveniences

ADF Japan

In our lives, all of us use various products, services and facilities.

However, are they really accessible to everyone? From this point of view, the Accessible Design Foundation (the ADF Japan) started its activities to promote accessibility for all people including older persons and persons with disabilities. In order to promote products, facilities and services that are accessible to every member in the society, the ADF Japan collaborates with other organizations to conduct user surveys and research on the needs of various people. We aim to create a society where each member can live a happy and lively life.

History of the ADF Japan

In 1991, the voluntary group called the E&C Project was established aiming at promoting accessible design (Kyoyohin) products and services to realize a barrier-free society where everybody can live with ease. This group was the forerunner of the present ADF Japan. The group conducted a survey on inconveniences experienced by persons with disabilities and older persons. Based on the result of this survey, the group started its work for promoting Kyoyohin and the standardization work in designing such products and services.

In order to work on a larger scale and to meet the greater needs of society, E&C Project changed its form from a voluntary one to a foundation in the year of 1999. It also was renamed the Accessible Design Foundation of Japan (the ADF Japan).

Taking over the work of the E&C Project, the ADF Japan has been contributing society by raising people's awareness and maintaining networks for promotion of Kyoyohin products/services.

Our Activities

Cooperation with the manufacturing sector

With the advent of unprecedented ageing society, the needs for Kyoyohin products and services have been intensified. At the same time, the word “accessible products/services” has come to be regarded as a key term for the industries.

In order to produce Kyoyohin products and services, the industrial sector and the government have to work together. The ADF Japan supports the business sectors in various ways such as promotion of standardization and co-creation systems through organizing symposiums and user surveys.

Promotion of Kyoyohin Products and Services

The ADF Japan's another activity is to promote the concept of Kyoyohin products and services to the general public.

The ADF Japan participates in various activities to convey the information regarding accessible design products and services: It joins exhibitions, publishes brochures for children, puts articles in magazines, and provides information on the internet. The ADF Japan tries to make our society a place where “Accessible Design” is regarded as an ordinary concept.

Under the cooperation with school teachers, the ADF Japan educates children and students regarding the importance of accessible design products/services. The staff members visit elementary schools and junior/high schools on a regular basis.


Standardization is an important field for universality of Kyoyohin products.

The ADF Japan is working in close cooperation with the Japanese government and other bodies for international and domestic standardization of Kyoyohin products.

Internationally, the ISO/IEC Guide 71, which provides basic Kyoyohin related consideration points, was finalized in 2001. The ADF Japan contributed greatly in the process of compiling the guideline.

Based on the ISO/IEC Guide 71, sectorial guides and particular standards have been made internationally and domestically.


In order to provide Kyoyohin products and services, it is necessary to study what kinds of inconveniences are experienced in daily lives. The ADF Japan conducts surveys on the inconveniences and the needs of various people and compiles the information as database. Gathered information is provided to various sectors of the society to help devise Kyoyohin products and services.

At the same time, the ADF Japan works with the central and municipal governments to organize research and development projects to make a difference in the policy-making process.


In order to realize a barrier-free society where everyone can live safely irrespective of age, gender and disabilities, cooperation between the citizens, business circles and the government is indispensable. The ADF Japan has set up network systems among various sectors of the society to work as a bridge between the sectors.

Network systems with consumer groups and citizen groups

The ADF Japan listens to the voice of consumer and citizen groups by conducting surveys regarding inconveniences experienced in daily lives.

Network systems with business circles

In order to realize an accessible society for all people including older persons and persons with disabilities, it is necessary for all sectors including the governments, NPOs, ISO and other international organizations to work together and share information.

The ADF Japan set up the Accessible Design Forum and has been providing a place where people from ministries, agencies, academic associations, and etc. can communicate with each other in a free and friendly manner.

International networking

The ADF Japan maintains good relationships for information exchange with the participating countries of ISO/IEC Guide71. Especially, the ADF Japan maintains close relationships with several countries in the Asia Pacific region.