Accessibility initiatives at Sony

Our purpose is to "Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology." At Sony, we're promoting inclusive design*1 and other initiatives to improve accessibility and to create a future shared by everyone.

  • *1Inclusive design is an approach that obtains new insights into designs for all by ensuring that the needs of a wide range of users are understood and included.

Promoting accessibility and related educational activities

Sony Group has created an organization to promote accessibility and inclusive design across our companies. Through this, we have established global achievement standards and frameworks, enabling us to work continuously towards improving accessibility. We provide comprehensive support for the Sony Group's activities within this field, including employee training, company-wide lectures, surveys and evaluation tools for improving accessibility, and the introduction of inclusive design.

One example is our series of lectures and events on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)*2. These are held throughout the Sony Group to deepen our employees' understanding of accessibility. In 2022, we demonstrated several products equipped with various accessibility features for our employees worldwide, and distributed them widely throughout our companies.

Another initiative is run by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), which hosts "family-friendly-sensory screenings" at its US offices, where the light and sound effects are adjusted for people with hypersensitivity, such as autism. This helps employees and their families deepen their understanding of hypersensitivity while enjoying movies together.

  • *2A day to talk, think and learn about accessibility and people with accessibility needs
Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Employee-driven activities

At Sony, we have established Employee Resource Groups that take the lead in improving accessibility across our companies, providing support for employees with disabilities and regularly distributing relevant information. Through incorporating diverse perspectives, this has led to many new initiatives. For example, the diverse range of perspectives brought by Sony Interactive Entertainment's employee resource group in Europe and America played a central role in the development of the ABLE@PlayStation Inclusive Language Guide. This guide helps to resolve mutual misunderstandings, improve communication, and boost awareness. It has also been made available for external use to support inclusivity for all outside of Sony.

Promoting inclusive design

To enhance accessibility and enable more people, including people with disabilities, to enjoy its products and services, Sony employs inclusive design. Sony incorporates feedback gained through the participation of employees with disabilities in the planning and development process, interviews with people with disabilities, and usability tests.

We're also implementing inclusive design in the creation of new user experiences and technologies.

Connecting with diverse customers

We collaborate with support groups for people with visual and hearing impairments to conduct surveys and usability tests to improve our products. Sony North America, for example, has developed a prototype of a product display stand with Braille and audio guides for people with visual impairments through incorporating their voices in the design process. We also regularly participate as an exhibitor at regional accessibility-related events that provide valuable opportunities to talk with customers and gain direct feedback.

CSUN 2022 All the explanatory staff
*The mask is removed only when taking a picture.

Collaborative Initiatives

Sony is also accelerating collaborations with other companies in the inclusion and accessibility field. Its truly wireless headphones "LinkBuds", released in February 2022, were a collaborative project with Microsoft Soundscape to empower richer experiences for everyone to explore their surroundings using 3D spatial audio. Sony also participates in the "With My Eyes" project to bring "difficult to see" into "clearer sight" for people with low vision, QD Laser, Inc.'s laser retina projection device can be attached to Sony cameras, allowing people with low vision to shoot video and still images with their own eyes.

Industry-wide initiatives

Our efforts towards improving accessibility through industry-wide standardization

Sony Europe serves as the head of the Systems Committee on Active Assisted Living (SyC AAL), a committee under the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)*3 that establishes international standards for for AAL systems, services and products. It aims to support people to live independently as we face an increasingly aging society.

  • *3IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission. An organization that prepares and publishes international standards for electrical and electronic technologies, made up of representatives from each participating country's national committee

The Valuable 500

In December 2019, Sony joined The Valuable 500, an international initiative to help promote participation by individuals with disabilities so that they can demonstrate their latent potential to bring value to business, society, and the economy. From amongst the 500 signatories, Sony was selected as one of the 14 Iconic Companies that will play a leading role in their country, region and industry.

List of Awards

Examples of award-winning accessibility activities.