The Braille Library in Takadanobaba was established as the largest library for the visually impaired in Japan. The library, which is involved in various sales for the visually impaired, also sells ”IRO-POCHI”.

How did you come to know about ”IRO-POCHI” and what is your honest opinion?

When Prof. Sagawa began developing “IRO-POCHI”, the museum’s Braille Production Section was asked to monitor a questionnaire survey on colour for congenitally blind people. Upon seeing the commercialized “IRO-POCHI” based on this research for the first time, I thought its size and design were very adorable. The museum handles a wide range of equipment and products for the visually impaired, but the design and use of colour is often not a priority for welfare products developed specifically for the visually impaired, and fashionable and pretty products are rare. It would be nice if such stylish and cute tags were attached to clothes generally sold in department stores.

How is the response from users?

The customers who purchased “IRO-POCHI” from the museum’s shop found it very useful to be able to recognize the colours of clothing. However, as the product was originally developed for people who are used to tactile reading, we have received feedback that it is difficult to understand for people who are blind in the middle of their lives. To make people understand how ‘IRO-POCHI’ works, it was necessary to provide a detailed explanation of the hue ring. We have heard that people have a hard time attaching ‘IRO-POCHI’ to their clothes by themselves without the help of a family member or helper.

How do you think “IRO-POCHI” should be promoted in the future?

There are many different types of visually impaired people, including those who are born blind or have acquired blindness. This means that each individual has a different level of tactile reading as well as knowledge and interest in colour, and therefore requires a tailored approach. It is important not only to promote “IRO-POCHI” themselves, but also to share basic background knowledge and information, such as about hue rings, a method of colour recognition, and the fun of co-ordination. It is the mission of organisations like ours to spread “IRO-POCHI”. I think “IRO-POCHI” will give both supporters and parties involved an excellent chance to enhance their understanding of color and fashion simultaneously.

Established 1940. Produces and lends Braille books and audio books, sells equipment for the visually impaired, and organises other classes for the visually impaired.