There are approximately 300,000 people in Japan who are visually impaired. Among them, about 60 to 70% are said to have reduced eyesight, and one can imagine that children with reduced eyesight face tremendous difficulties in their studies. For children and students with reduced eyesight and who have a difficult time reading the text and looking at pictures in regular textbooks, volunteer groups make "large-font textbooks" by hand.
Fuji Xerox allows free use of color copy machines at our sales locations and affiliated companies throughout Japan for volunteers who create these "large-font textbooks" and for guardians of children and students with reduced eyesight. As illustrations, pictures, maps, and graphs are enlarged using color copy machines, and the enlarged copies are cut and pasted by hand, it conventionally takes several people more than 2 months to make one large-font textbook. However, by using color copy machines, it is possible to significantly reduce the production period.
Support for the production of large-font textbooks started in 1989 in Kanagawa Prefecture. In 1994, due to an expansion of our services throughout the entire country, words spread about our provision of services among volunteer groups, guardians of students and children with reduced eyesight, and school officials all over Japan. Today, enlarged color copies are an indispensable part of the process for making large-font textbooks.
In 2005, we provided 550,000 enlarged color copies to approximately 70 volunteer groups at 64 sales locations nationwide free of charge, and these enlarged color copies are currently being used by many students and children with reduced vision.
Fuji Xerox's activities in this area have been recognized by the Prime Minister's Commendation窶杯he top award窶琶n the Barrier-Free, Universal Design Contributors Awards 2008, organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan. This award reflects high regard for Fuji Xerox efforts in this area, sustained over 20 consecutive years as a social-contribution program, as well as regard for significant contributions made by numerous volunteers in the large-font textbook program, who have drawn on Fuji Xerox services to promote large-font textbooks nationwide, taking full advantage of the unique nature of Fuji Xerox's businesses.