May 16, 2024

Introducing Sony's Accessibility Initiatives for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

    Sony Corporation is pleased to showcase its range of inclusive design features and initiatives on its special accessibility web page, as it celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day to think about accessibility around the world.

    More details: Global Accessibility Awareness Day Official page

    Act Together! GAAD 2024 To think, creaate and enjoy together

    Based on its Purpose, to "fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology," Sony aims to help build an inclusive future where everyone can share the moment, promoting accessibility with the theme of "delivering innovation for an accessible future." Towards this goal, Sony intends to implement inclusive design that incorporates this perspective into product commercialization processes by fiscal year 2025.

    As part of our initiatives, LinkBuds truly wireless earbuds now work with Eye Navi, a walking support application for people with visual impairments, developed by Computer Science Institute, for intuitive voice navigation (for customers in Japan only).

    Recent Initiatives for products and services developed using inclusive design

    LinkBuds® Truly Wireless Earbuds integration with Eye Navi*1, a walking support application

    LinkBuds have been created with a unique open-ring design that lets users tune into the outside world whenever they want, without compromising their listening experience. The ring driver unit features an open central diaphragm for audio transparency, so chatting with friends and connecting to surroundings is easy. Because the earbuds are small, light and do not block ears, users can keep them in all the time, confident they will not miss ambient sounds from the environment even while listening to music or participating in online meetings.

    The open-ring design allows users to clearly hear the sounds around them

    As part of our inclusive design initiatives, LinkBuds are also able to provide enhanced capabilities through their integration with Eye Navi*1, a walking support application for people with visual impairments developed by Computer Science Institute. Through a new voice guidance function*2 that has just been released for the product in Japan, LinkBuds can detect the direction of a user's head, and enable them to hear intuitive voice navigation alongside the natural sound of their surroundings. For example, by utilizing sensors inside the LinkBuds and spatial sound technology, voice navigation such as directions can be heard from the direction in which places are actually located.

    • *1:Eye Navi is a trademark of Computer Science Institute. The Eye Navi app is only available in Japan and for iPhone. Please see details on Eye Navi Web site (only in Japanese).
    • *2:The software version of LinkBuds, the "Sony | Headphones Connect" app, and the Eye Navi app need to be updated for usage.

    More details: Sustainability | ActTogether Web Site

    BRAVIA™ TV TalkBack screen reader and initial setting assistance

    BRAVIA TVs offer a variety of accessibility features, implemented based on feedback from people with disabilities who wanted to use the TV more independently. These features include initial settings, with the TalkBack screen reader, a menu timeout function that allows users to keep menus on the screen longer, and color inversion and grayscale modes for people with low vision or visual sensitivities*3. The tactile dots on the HDMI and S-Center terminals of BRAVIA TV announced in April match those found on the BRAVIA Theater home audio products to simplify the process of locating and connecting ports for a smooth setup experience.

    More details: TV Accessibility | BRAVIA | Sony UK

    • *3:The feature availability depends on model, countries/regions. Models and launch date will vary by region.

    Guides for QR codes on audio product packaging

    To help users with visual impairments set up BRAVIA Theatre home audio products, a raised square frame on the package indicates a QR code*4 for the BRAVIA Connect app, which offers screen reader support.

    More details: Guide for QR | Sony USA

    • *4:QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED in Japan and in other countries/regions

    Self-fitting Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids (only in the U.S. market)

    Since 2022, Sony's partnership with WS Audiology launched over-the-counter hearing aids*5 in the US, available without a prescription. They were developed while considering in-depth interviews and user feedback from people with hearing impairments to understand their challenges.
    We recently released a video showcasing how Sony's hearing aids have improved users' daily life.

    • *5:FDA cleared as OTC self-fitting hearing aids intended to amplify sound for individuals 18 years of age or older with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment.

    Initiatives in Each Region


    Sony is conducting inclusive design trainings and hands-on workshops to raise awareness of accessibility. We have developed training programs designed to work with Sony/Taiyo employees with disabilities, for employee participants to gain new insights and incorporate diverse perspectives into the planning of products and services, and we regularly hold lectures and training courses by outside experts.

    Sony and QD Laser, Inc. have donated approximately 200 pieces of the Retinal Projection Camera Kit "DSC-HX99 RNV kit" to Japanese schools for the blind as well as facilities and organizations for the visually impaired. The DSC-HX99RNV kit is a retinal projection camera kit that helps people with visual impairments capture the world around them*6. Sony and QD Laser are offering a new experience with focus-free retinal projection, enabling people with low vision to experience a new, sharper way to view and photograph the world. In addition, an exhibition of photographs taken with the DSC-HX99 RNV Kit by people with low vision was held at the Sony Imaging Gallery Ginza in Japan as one of the venues for presenting their creative work.

    • *6:Depending on the type of visual impairment, it may be difficult to recognize images (e.g., if the function of the retina is totally impaired).

    North America

    Sony continues to exhibit at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference (CSUN), one of the world's largest international conferences on accessibility in Anaheim, California.
    Sony also collaborated with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, which brings together creators with disabilities, and donated Sony's FX30 Cinema Line cameras to six winners at the awards ceremony held at Sony Pictures studios in Culver City, California, on May 9th, 2024.
    By providing creators with the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity, regardless of whether they have disabilities, Sony aims to create a world where everyone can share Kando (emotion).


    In 2023 for the 5th year running, Sony participated in and sponsored TechShare Pro, Europe's biggest accessibility and digital inclusion gathering. Our representatives participated at various sessions to share our initiatives, knowledge, and technology trends in accessibility and inclusive design.

    Additionally, we carry out disability, accessibility and inclusive design awareness across our European sites through our IDEA (Inclusive Design Education and Accessibility) Lab.
    This activity aims to understand the challenges people with disabilities encounter with technology and to educate ways to ensure everyone can use and enjoy our products, services and experiences.

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