History of
Barrier-Free Research in Japan and at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST)

Since the barrier-free domain of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) was established in 2001—under the concepts of integrating the humanities and sciences, bringing research subjects into the research process, and industry-academia collaboration—we have been tackling social challenges through inclusive research processes that incorporate the perspectives of the research subjects themselves.

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History in Japan

History at RCAST

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Co-productive Research Projects

We bring to light issues in society and propose solutions through co-production of self-support research, which emerges out of the “lived experiences” of those who have been left behind in society, as well as practical study based on implementation of interdisciplinary action research aimed at solving social issues.

Inception of the RCAST Barrier-Free Rresearch categories

  • 2001: Barrier-Free Laboratory of the barrier-free categories established

  • 2002–2006: Super COE “Barrier-Free Project” executed

    • Concept: Integration of the humanities and sciences, participation of subject as researchers, industry-academia collaboration

    • Four research clusters:

      • Philosophy and ideology of disability studies
      • User-centered design systems
      • User-centered assistive design (assistive technology)
      • Industry-academia collaboration
    • The goal at the time was to create a barrier-free human sciences research center.

  • Tojisha-kenkyu Laboratoy

    • 2012–2017 Tojisha-kenkyu on autism spectrum disorder fully launched as Scientific Research on Innovative Areas
    • 2015 Tojisha-kenkyu Laboratoy established
      • History, theory, and methodology for tojisha-kenkyu developed
      • Tojisha-kenkyu implemented
      • Mental disorders, autism spectrum disorder, addiction, chronic pain, secondary disorders caused by cerebral palsy, special needs classrooms, dementia,
      • teachers, parenting, university students, businesses, university faculty, psychiatrists, government officials, athletes, women’s prisons, etc.
      • Co-production implemented
      • International collaboration
  • 2020 Inclusive Academia Project started

  • 2022 Social inclusion system domain established