Concept: Providing "information" required to bring "the best possible medicine" to all patients

For communication between patients with hearing/visual impairments and medical personnel


"Supply the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve"

This is the Company Policy of Shionogi. Then, what is the “best possible medicine”? In general, many people might think that it is a drug that causes fewer adverse reactions and has a higher therapeutic effect. In order to ensure that patients can take medicine safely while maximizing the therapeutic effect and minimizing adverse reactions, useful information is provided to patients through various means, including medication guidance by medical professionals, and accompanying documents or descriptions on packages of non-prescription drugs.
However, some people have difficulty getting the information needed to take medication appropriately because of their disability. To remove such barriers, Shionogi is working on improving the way it transmits information. These efforts will help achieve the target specified in our medium-term business plan, STS2030 (FY2020 to 2030): Delivering value by providing healthcare as a service (Healthcare as a Service: HaaS).

Initiatives to eliminate communication barriers caused by disabilities

What is Communication Barrier-Free? (8 min. 29 sec. video with English captions)

Project activities

What activities do you implement in the Communication Barrier-Free Project?

For Medical Personnel and Patients

Under the slogan "Let's remove barriers to taking medication appropriately!" we are conducting educational activities to explain the characteristics of disabilities. 

- Offering disability awareness seminars for medical personnel, provided by a hearing impaired person

- Distributing easy-to-understand pamphlets explaining the characteristics of disabilities

- Distributing easy-to-understand posters which explain how to take medicine appropriately, with lots of cartoon-like illustrations

- Creating a video explaining the patients’ problems

Awareness seminar

Offering disability awareness seminars for medical personnel, provided by a hearing impaired person
Awareness seminar

Pamphlets explaining the characteristics of disabilities

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Vol. 1 Types and characteristics of hearing loss (PDF)
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Vol. 2 How to improve hearing loss (PDF)
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Vol.3 Hearing impaired people’s problems and countermeasures (PDF)
Distributing easy-to-understand pamphlets explaining the characteristics of disabilities

Bookmark cards explaining user's hearing impairment and how to communicate with them

These cards have become popular as a communication tool.

Poster explaining how to take medications appropriately

Cartoon that explains how to take medications appropriately

Cartoon that explains how to take medications appropriately

April 2020: The package of the antipyretic analgesic Sedes® series (External website)

Went through a renewal to conform to universal specifications based on the SDGs
SEDES, package

Scenes from the video shoot

Creating a video explaining the patients’ problems
Scenes from the video shoot

Poster explaining the procedure of the gastric barium test

Self-introduction book for the general public to explain user's hearing impairment and how to communicate with them

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File for entering your information (PDF)
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Entry example (PDF)

Communication tips for the general public to overcome communication barriers with hearing impaired persons

For Our Employees

This project started at a study meeting participated in by volunteers, many of whom were hearing-impaired employees.

Since the project officially started in October 2015, many unimpaired employees have also joined in the project to provide internal educational activities and seminars to let our employees know about the characteristics of hearing impairment and to raise their awareness. Furthermore, we have made efforts to create a work environment that is friendly to employees with disabilities, including introducing the UDTalk®(External website) App to support communication and visualize conversation.

June 2016 Introduced UDTalk®, an app that recognizes voices and converts them to text
Photograph of the device that introduced UDTalk
January 2017 Started adding captions to the president's message video
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March 2017 Held an internal seminar on the Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities
Photograph of the seminar scenery
November 2019 Established a training center equipped with UDTalk® and directional speakers
Photograph of the appearance of the training center
March 2020 Declared its support for "The Valuable 500,(External website) " an international initiative to promote inclusion of people with disabilities
Valuable500, Logo
March 2020 Became a support company for NTT DoCoMo’s "Mierudenwa,(External website, Japanese only) " a service that converts in real time words spoken over a phone and displays them in text

Guarantee of internal information provision

Currently, about 20 hearing-impaired employees are working at Shionogi. With a guarantee of appropriate information provision, we aim to enable all employees to participate in internal meetings on their own initiative, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. As one of the measures, we introduced "UDTalk® (External website)," an app that recognizes voices and converts them to text.

In addition, by creating a corporate culture where appropriate information provision is guaranteed for every employee participating in training, lectures, and seminars, we aim to enable both healthy and disabled employees to work in the same workplace with a sense of purpose and motivation, thus enabling them to fully demonstrate their abilities.

Meeting scenery

For Everyone in Society

Consideration for visitors

An "ear mark"[*] is displayed at the reception desk of the Shionogi headquarters to inform the visitor that the receptionists are happy to provide special services, such as communicating in writing as required. Shionogi makes efforts to create a service desk that can be used, without any hesitation, by anyone, including people with disabilities and foreigners.


* The "ear mark" is a mark established by the All Japan Association of Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened People (Zennancho) (External website) to indicate that the person has a hearing impairment. The message is written in English as well.

Photo of head office reception

An assistance dog sticker is displayed at the front entrance of the Shionogi headquarters building. (Assistance dogs refer to specially trained dogs such as guide dogs, service dogs, and hearing dogs.) By displaying an assistance dog sticker, Shionogi announces its willingness to welcome users of assistance dogs, thereby aiming to create a society where people with disabilities can live and work in the same way as able-bodied people.



* The Act for Assistance Dogs for Persons with Disabilities, (Link to the website of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), stipulates that, in principle, any individual accompanied by an assistance dog should be allowed to enter facilities used by an unspecified number of people, such as government offices, hospitals, public transportation facilities, and restaurants. Meanwhile, the Act also stipulates that a private company with 50 or more employees should not refuse the use of an assistance dog by an employee with disabilities.

Sticker photo

About Links

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Project Logo


Koga Hirano, a Japanese book designer, has designed the project’s logotype for us. This unique and creative logotype represents what the project aims for: a diverse society where everyone can play an active role.

Communication Barrier-Free


The logo is designed using letters C, B, and F, the capital letters of each word in the project’s name, Communication Barrier-Free. It also expresses the theme of the project, "Turn awareness into action, and change minus to plus." There is a plus (+) symbol between letters C and B. It was created through cooperation between the Shionogi Business Partner Design Division and project members. (Registered trademark)