Experimental Study on Shapes of Tactile Signs for Distinguishable Identification on Body Soap Containers
Kouki Doi*1, Takahiro Nishimura*1, Tsutomu Wada*2, Hiroshi Fujimoto*3, and Yasuyuki Hoshikawa*4
*1Department of Policy and Planning, National Institute of Special Needs Education
5-1-1 Nobi, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8585, Japan
*2The Japan Braille Library
1-23-4 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-0075, Japan
*3Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University
2-579-15 Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192, Japan
*4Accessible Design Foundation of Japan
OGA Building 2F, 2-5-4 Sarugaku, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0064, Japan
Japanese Industry Standards (JIS) S 0021 (Packaging – Accessible Design – General Requirements) indicate the design policy for easy-to-use packaging and containers, targeting various individuals including elderly persons and individuals with disabilities. The JIS S 0021 includes tactile signs that are necessary to ensure the ease of distinguishing and handling as well as the ease of using those packaging and containers. The JIS S 0021 prescribes tactile signs on shampoo containers and notches for beverage paper packaging containers as tactile signs to distinguish the contents of the package and to differentiate between containers with the same or similar shapes. The policy was expanded to include tactile signs for body soaps when the standard was amended in 2014, and this was attributed to the fact that organizations of visually impaired demanded tactile signs for body soap, since body soap is often packaged in containers with shapes similar to those for shampoos and hair conditioners. Hence, tactile signs prescribed for body soap in JIS S 0021 guidelines were recently expanded to commercially available body soap containers. In the present study, experiments were performed to study the shapes of tactile signs for distinguishable body soap container. Specifically, shapes were studied through the following two steps: 1) tactile signs were selected based on experiments to evaluate the ease of distinguishing between multiple tactile signs, in a hearing survey involving visually impaired; and 2) experiments were performed to evaluate the tactile signs assuming that they were manufactured in collaboration with the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, which is an industry organization of manufacturers for body soap and other products. It should be noted that the experiments involving distinguishing between products prioritized tactile signs on the top surfaces of the containers instead of on the side, since visually impaired tend to distinguish between pump containers by touching the top surfaces of the containers in hotels and public restrooms. The results of the experiments were used for tactile signs in the amended JIS S 0021 in 2014 for body soap. This study described evaluation experiments performed on the distinguishability of tactile signs on the top surfaces of pump type body soap containers to determine the factors that should be considered when establishing JIS tactile signs for body soap containers.
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