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Efforts of CombiWith 2-6-7 Motoasakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Value the Viewpoints of Non-Users As Well As Users
It All Started from Child Seats and Changing Tables That Are Now the Norm
The Combi logo on child seats and strollers—familiar to anyone who's raised a child. CombiWith Corporation is a subsidiary of Combi Corporation, a baby care product company. The company started in 1990 with the brand vision of "creating a world where people can enjoy and feel happy about baby care."
They offer solutions to a wide range of facilities to support people when they're out and about with children. Examples include nursing rooms, and the child seats and changing tables in restrooms that have now become the norm. We spoke to Mr. Higurashi of CombiWith Corporation about their work.
Make Facilities Easy to Use for Everyone
Combi is strongly associated with baby products, and people often think of it as a brand that only sells baby care products intended for general use. However, we also offer products to make public spaces easy to use for everyone—not just families with small children—when they're out and about. "It'd be really helpful to have a changing table for adults." Taking on board opinions like this heard from caregivers and people with disabilities, CombiWith released a multi-purpose wall-mounted adult changing table “Universal Seat “ in 2000.
At places that a wide variety of people visit, restroom-related needs vary widely as well. With people taking their children into restrooms, using them in wheelchairs, and so on, restrooms have been getting more congested than ever. In 2017, a revision to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Building Design Standards included distributing the functions of facilities in restrooms.
However, the congestion has yet to improve. For everyone to be able to go out and about comfortably, we need to separate the barrier-free restrooms with a Universal Seat adult changing table from the parent/child restrooms with a child seat and changing table.
Make Restrooms Barrier-Free to Reduce Congestion by Distributing Functions Further
We've been conveying users' opinions to facilities and offering value-added proposals that will satisfy the facilities and users alike. Going forward, we'll continue to listen to the opinions of caregivers and people with disabilities, and share them with facilities.We also use social media to share information with consumers and users. Social media are an important tool not only for spreading information, but also for hearing what the people involved think, so we're going to keep on putting them to use.
Accessibility of information is extremely important. Even if a facility makes itself barrier-free, it'll be no use unless the users become familiar with it. We were given advice on things like where to post the information in the latest consultation support session for accessible tourism, so we plan to continue building an information network so that we can provide more information to the people who need it.
Horizontal changing table
The Next Norm Will Be a Society Where No One Will Have Trouble Traveling or Using Restrooms
I think the number of domestic travelers is going to decrease because of the declining birthrate and aging population. However, there are still potential needs among people who've given up on traveling because of age or disability. If there are mechanisms to support the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and families with small children, they'll be able to travel, so they'll visit tourist destinations. That'll significantly increase tourism demand, even for domestic travel alone. I think accessible tourism is important for the persons concerned and for the tourism industry.
Child seats and changing tables have become the norm now. I believe the next norm could be that no one will have trouble traveling or using restrooms. Rather than just installing facilities that are necessary to comply with laws and guidelines, we want to help provide ones that users can use without waiting and feel satisfied with.
The revised Barrier-Free Act will come into force in 2021, and accessible tourism will start to get promoted even more. Our goal is to make sure that no one will have trouble traveling or using restrooms. We'll continue to offer CombiWith solutions to a variety of facilities, not just commercial ones.
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Tokyo, a city that is accessible everywhere to anyone.
Sightseeing where you wish, as you wish.
This ability to travel anywhere you please makes life that much richer.
Tokyo welcomes your visit.
Here you can encounter tradition,
history, culture, nature, technology,
and, best of all, smiling faces.
Making tourism closer and more
enjoyable through accessible tourism.