Deaf city council member asks for more barrier free environment
July 3, 2017

 "The ways of communication for those who are hearing loss varies, such as a hearing aid, sign language, writing and others. I ask you to arrange right support  system according to the needs of the person with hearing loss."

Sato Makoto, 37, (photo) a deaf city council member stood for a general question and appealed to the mayor and fellow members at the general assembly meeting of Toda-shi, Saitama Prefecture on June 9.

An answer from the administration is made through the voice recognition system that voice is changed to the caption, and interpreting as well.
Sato lost hearing when he was very sick at the age of two. He put on a hearing aid and was trained by an oral method since then. He learned sign language after he became an office worker after finishing high school.

His experience with the USA two years ago when he visited was so a big opportunity that he determined to become a politician.

Sato ran as an independent candidate for Toda-shi council election in January, 2017.  He appealed to make Toda-shi a barrier-free society, and won his first election.

Sato is the fourth Deaf local councilor in the whole country, and the first one in Saitama Prefecture next to Tokyo.

Japanese source:

No application for Tottori Prefecture's sign language course for next year

June 29, 2017

Tottori Prefecture Office has established a sign language course related to a social welfare (the university degree level) for the new employers in spring, 2018, which it was found out on June 28 that no one has made any application.

The Prefecture Office aimed to station  interpreters in the department that carries out a social welfare policy in order to plan substantially related to a person with disabilities. 

However, the Office seems to be pressed to reconsider an application and so on. 

Japanese source:

Send-off party held for Japanese team before Deaflympics

June 28, 2017

Prince and Princess Akishinonomiya, and their eldest daughter Princess Mako met with the national team who will represent Japan at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics,  at the Akasaka East House near Akishinonomiya's residence in Tokyo on June 28. Princess Mako and her mother Prince Kiko encouraged the team, saying "Do your best" in sign language.

Another send-off party for the Japanese team was held at the House of Councilors Hall in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. It was for the first time to hold such an event for the national team representing at Deaflympics.

The party were attended by the Olympic and Paralympics Minister and the Sport Agency Chief. Both encouraged the team and hoped for their doing best. The Turkish ambassador to Japan told a greeting, too.

At the Deaflympics scheduled for July 18-30 in Samsun, Turkey, 108 athletes in total  will compete in 11 sport items including truck and fields, badminton and others.  

Japanese sources:

All graders in Shintoku-cho learn sign language following curriculum

Shintoku-cho in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, has established a sign language regulation in 2014 for the first time and as the third town/village by the whole country autonomous body.

The sign language class has started targeted for all the grades of three elementary schools in the town this year. 

Children from the first grade through sixth grade learn sign language by a consistent system until graduation based on a step-by-step curriculum. Hokkaido Prefecture School Board says the case of the town is the first attempt.

The town dispatches an interpreter as a lecturer. The each grader has total of 30 frames until graduation: five frames a year for each grade (one frame for 45 minutes). (photo)

Japanese source:

Practice to catch stranger at Wakayama School for the Deaf
June 22, 2017

Practice to catch a stranger was performed at the Prefecture Wakayama School for the Deaf near Osaka. T

Total of about 100 graders and junior high and high school students and teachers participated in the training.

An officer from the Wakayama West Police Station acted the suspect who invaded in the schoolhouse with a knife. (photo: second from left) He asked loudly whether there was any child, while keeping the knife in his hand. 

Warned by school emergency announcement, the teachers and staff tried to hold the man who acted as suspect down using a broom, etc.

Japanese source:

Deaf survivor of atomic bombing appeals peace in sign language

June 19, 2017
Yamazaki Eiko explains in sign language, 
"I was afraid of an atom bomb. I cried much." 

Yamasaki Eiko, 90, is the Deaf woman who survived the atomic bombing in Nagasaki-shi located Japan's southern island. 

She moved to an elderly nursing home for the Deaf aged in Awajishima in Hyogo Prefecture, "The Awaji Owl Village" in the autumn of 2016.

Yamasaki visited her old home in Nagasaki-shi and lectured in the Atomic Bomb Museum on June 18. 

She stated, "I am afraid of an atom bomb.
It is the regrettable misery." Participants responded to her speech by expressed with waving both hands.

Japanese source:

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Facilities for Deaf aged in Wakayama Prefecture behind schedule
June 17, 2017

In Wakayama Prefecture located in Central Japan, six Deaf organizations have cooperated in the fund-raising campaign since August, 2015 aiming at construction of the first home for the Deaf seniors in the prefecture. (photo) 

However, a schedule of the dedication of the Deaf senior home this fall was put off one year later because of lack of funds; the group gathered about 85,000,000 yen by May 20, 2017.

The building of the home for Deaf aged as soon as possible has been requested in the Deaf community, and the persons concerned have felt impatience.

By estimation of the Prefecture Association of the Deaf, out of about 6,200 persons with hearing impairments with disabled person's handbook issued, 500 Deaf persons who need sign language and the half of them are 65 year old and elder.

There are only 12 homes for the Deaf aged across Japan, overwhelmingly fewer compared with 70 facilities for visually impaired.

Japanese source:

Insurance company staff learn sign language by Deaf staff
June 15, 2015 

The staff of Tokyo Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd. Nichido Insurance Against Fire at Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido has volunteered to learn sign language since May.

The Deaf woman employed by the company, who has wanted her fellow workers to know about the world of the Deaf prepared a textbook, teaches them sign language. (photo: left)

Using the day when there is no overtime work, 20 staff are learning basic sign language such as greetings, fingerspelling, etc. for about one hour after a regular work time.

Japanese source:

Private cramming schools for Deaf students aiming at academic or social leadership
June 14, 2017

The private cramming school which supports the Deaf person who wishes for university entrance was established at all part after the persons with disabilities discrimination banishment law carried out in April, 2016.

"Deaf Academy," a private cramming school for Deaf students in Kyoto-shi, was established in April this year to produce a social top leader from the Deaf young generation. At the middle of May, six  third graders have entered. For three hours they learn "skills development," "counseling," "subjects (mathematics, Japanese, etc)." The monthly fee per a child is 13,500 yen.

The classes of the skills development focus on mainly a visual stimulus and memories as the curriculum. A Deaf teacher of the mathematics class uses sign language. (photo)

"The Private Cramming School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students" in Tokyo supports a Deaf person with successful university/collage entrance examination. Japan School of Social Work in Kiyose-shi, Tokyo started the course in 2009 as a support project. 27 students mainly who are a senior of  junior high school or high school attend a lecture every Friday.

To secure the individual level at the said cramming school, a Deaf lecturer uses sign language directly, and for a hearing lecturer interpreting is provided. 

Japanese source:

First group home for Deafblind open in Japan

June 13, 2017

The group home for Deafblind persons, named "Smile Residence for the DeafBlind" (shortly Mickey House) opened in Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi in March. (photo)

In order to support communication with a tenant and going out, a staff is arranged cordially. Such facilities are the first across Japan according to the National Association of the DeafBlind in Tokyo. To secure the staff is difficult and problems still remain in a nationwide expanse.

The group home with five floors has ten rooms in all (about eight square meters for each). A rent is 65,000-75,000 yen including the lighting and heating expenses.

The present tenant is seven men and women aged 20-sixties. The three remaining rooms are being decided. Support staff are also stationed for 24 hours: about five persons in the daytime and one person at night.

Japanese source:

Unveiling monument held at Fujita Takeshi's birth place in Shimane
June 11, 2017

Fujita Takeshi (1917-72) who was born in Shin-Onsencho, Hyogo Prefecture next to Kyoto, was a well-known Deaf Japanese-style painter as well as an educator of the Deaf. 

Unveiling a monument was held at Fujita's birthplace in commemoration of the 100th year since his birth on June 10. His Deaf wife Takako (94) and her two daughters attended the event. (photo) 

Fujita got ill at the age of eight and lost hearing two years later. After graduating from Kyoto Prefecture School for the Deaf junior high school where he majored in painting, he became a painter.  Fujita returned home because of his father's sudden death in 1945. He got married to Takako who was also from the same school in the next year.

Fujita taught painting at Shimane Prefecture School for the Deaf and others,  
as well as he served as one of the board directors of Japanese Federation of the Deaf, endeavoring to promote social involvement of the Deaf community. He died at the age of 55 at his home in Hamada-shi, Shimane Prefecture in 1972. 

Life of Fujita and his wife was a model of the movie titled "Nameless, Poor, Beautiful" directed by Matsuyama Zenzo in 1961. 

Japanese sources:

People experience taking summary note as part of deaf awareness
June 13, 2017

The event aiming at learning how to make summary note was sponsored by the Nabari-shi Office in Mie Prefecture, which attempts to promote deafness awareness, in the City Office on June 10. (photo) 40 persons including citizens and municipal officers participated.

The event was held to increase more supporters before the city enforces the "Sign Language and Other Communications Regulation on June 27. 

Japanese source:

World Federation of the Deaf appeals "improvement of Sign Language law" in Kyoto.
June 8, 2017

The Sign Language Law Forum which focused on the legal system of Sign Languages in the world as a theme took placed in the National Sign Language Training Center at Kyoto-shi on June 6.

Two members of the World Federation of the Deaf board directors gave a presentation on necessity of development of legislation through International Sign interpretation. (photo)

The forum was held by the Kinki Federation of the Deaf as a part of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf's 70th anniversary program. It was the first time for the Kinki Federation to invite WFD officials, and about 170 people attended the event.

Japanese source:

Deaf soccer: Friendship match for Japan and Korea
June 11, 2017

A Deaf soccer friendship match by Japan and Korea, sponsored by the Japanese Deaf Soccer Association, was held in Munakata-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture located in Japan's southern island on June 10.

Japan won easily with 4-0.

Japanese source:

Deaf society presents book on protection against disasters for junior high schools in Toyohashi
June 7, 2017

The Toyohashi-shi Organization of Deaf Groups in Aichi Prefecture, part of central Japan, which has produced a cartoon book based on the protection against disasters radio play titled "If a person with disabilities comes to the shelter," presented 880 copies (22 schools---40 copies each, 88,000 yen equivalence) on June 6 for all the junior high schools in the city. (photo)

The book (A4-size, 31 pages) was based on a scenario of the disaster prevention radio play for the "shelter experience" which was performed three years ago at the city welfare center.

Japanese source:

Gifu School for the Deaf children challenge pizza making at store
June 6, 2017

28 elementary children of Gifu School for the Deaf in Gifu-shi, Gifu Prefecture, near Osaka, visited the pizza store in the city, "Da Asch" and learned how to make pizza from the cooking staff on June 5.

The staff showed how to stretch dough, etc., speaking slowly while communicating by gesture. (photo)

The store has invited the children who have disabilities as their contribution in the area by offering a program with pizza making and a dinner since four years ago.

Japanese source:

Sapporo-shi to discuss Sign Language Regulation with Deaf organization

June 6, 2017

Sapporo-shi in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, made the policy on June 5 which places sign language as a language and considers establishment of "Sign Language Regulation" aiming at improvement of Deaf persons' right.

The City Office has aimed at developing a policy on the regulation which communication means of the person with disabilities, such as sign language as well as braille and the transliteration, incorporated widely at first. The policy was changed because a Deaf group arose a question.

The city will discuss a legal text with the group; such as a phrase "Sign language has its own language system", "the city enforces the policy to promote understanding of sign language," and others. The regulation establishment time is uncertain.

In Hokkaido 13 municipalities of autonomous bodies including Ishikari-shi and Shintoku-cho have established a sign language regulation as of April 20.

Japanese source:

TRS saves Deaf persons in marine accident at night

June 4, 2017
At night on June 3, four Deaf office workers aged between 46 and 51 caught the pleasure boat that was overturned at Mikawa Bay in Nishino-shi, Aichi Prefecture located in central Japan, and they were rescued. 

One of the Deaf men requested relief using "the Telephone Relay Service" through his own smart phone. The patrol boat received the emergency notice and rescued about four hours later.

Around 5:30pm on June 3, an engine stopped the pleasure boat by some defects according to Marine Safety Station officials. They assumed that seawater might enter in the boat, which later was overturned.

Japanese sources:

Prince Akishinonomiya speaks at 65th National Deaf Conference

Prince Akishinonomiya and his wife visit a work exhibit 
at Fukuoka Deaf Special Support High School.
June 4, 2017

Prince Akishinonomiya, the younger brother of the Crown Prince, and his wife Kiko attended the 65th National Deaf Conference at Fukuoka-shi located in Japan's southern island on June 4.

This meet, attracting about 4,100 persons who were Deaf and welfare persons concerned, commemorated Japanese Federation of the Deaf's 70th anniversary of establishment.

Prince Akishinonomiya presented his greeting, speaking with sign language, "I pay my respects to long effort of the Federation which has advanced social involvement of the Deaf persons. I hope sincerely that development of community building based on a universal design and the information access environment will be accelerated."

Japanese sources:

Fire fighting staff in Hokkaido start learning sign language for sports meet
June 3, 2017

The 50th Hokkaido Summer Deaf Athletic Meeting" will be held on July 1-2 at Kitahiroshima-shi, Hokkaido, Japan's norther island. 

A sign language study meeting for the fire fighting staff was held at the city fire fighting head office. About 30 firemen  learned the basic sign language used at a first aid site. (photo)

The study meeting was planned in cooperation with  Kitahiroshima Association of the Deaf, the sponsor of the sports meet, to help a fire fighting staff  communicate with a Deaf person better when a first aid is requested at the meet. 

Japanese source:

War dead mourned by sign language dance in Okinawa
June 3, 2017

Non Profit Organization Sign Language Dance YOU & I Okinawa "Young Leaf" showed the sign language dance to mourn at the Okinawa Peace Prayer Hall in Mabuni, Itoman-shi, Okinawa Prefecture on June 3. (photo)

The members of ten clubs who belong to "Young Leaf" expressed the contents of lyrics by sign language and danced at the same time.

About 100 people attended this event, which was the second time following last year.

The "Young Leaf" leader explained, "Deaf  as well as hearing persons died during the battle in Okinawa in 1945. We expressed the feelings for all the war victims whose names are inscribed in the monument."

Japanese source:

Library arranges human services staff for the Deaf to encourage use library


Nagano Prefecture Sign Language Regulation has been carried out since March, 2016, and promotion of understanding of sign language and its users, and the spread of sign language are an issue of the local community.

Suzaka Library in the prefecture arranged two staff for a human services in charge,  planning improvement of the use environment from a more welfare point of view.

A group of Deaf persons visited Suzaka Library with members of Suzaka Sign Language Club on May 25. Almost all seven Deaf visitors were a beginner, and some applied for a personal user card first.

Suzaka Sign Language Club has made a group user card of the Suzaka Library earlier this year. With the card the club can borrow at most 30 books for a month. Because the request from the Deaf club members were interested to select a book to read by themselves, the visit to the library came true as a part of the club regular activity.

Japanese source:

Teeth health guidance takes place at school for the deaf in Kagoshima-shi


There was a guidance health program on   the teeth and the mouth by dental hygienists and others at the Prefecture Kagoshima School for the Deaf in Kagoshima-shi, located in Japan's southern island.

Kagoshima-shi Dental Association holds in accordance with the "Healthy Teeth and Mouth Week" which Japan has advanced for June 4-10 every year.

All the children and students, from preschoolers through high school students, received health teeth guidance on June 1 at the school. The kindergarten children and their parents learned how to polish the teeth properly from a dental hygienist. The students from the first graders to high school students learned  importance of the teeth brushing through a play and a quiz prepared by the dental academy college students.

Japanese source:

Ward in Tokyo starts interpreting service through app and telephone
June 1, 2017

Minato Ward, Tokyo started the "telephone service" for its inhabitant with hearing impairment to communicate with the  administrative agency, a hospital, a police  or a fire fighting station through the use of the application on a smart phone or tablet. (photo) It is said to be the first try by an autonomous body in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.

Minato Ward Office has incorporated 5,750,000 yen into the budget the current year as the project cost entrusted to the Interpretation Center. 

Welfare disabilities department officials explained, "This is a measure to respond the person with disabilities discrimination removal law which was carried out last year. No more burden on the people who had to go to the office for a small request."

About 300 inhabitants in the Ward are able to use the service at 8:00am-9:00pm.

Japanese source:

Afghan woman with artificial leg to visit Japan after 14 years

June 2, 2017

The movie titled "I Love Peace" about the Deaf woman who aims at a certified  artificial limb equipment producer makes an artificial leg for a land mine victim while building trustful relationship with the girl by gestures. The movie was taken in Shimane and Afghanistan in 2003. Even it showed in Afghanistan in 2005, too.

The Afghan girl who appeared on the movie lost her right leg by a land mine at the age of four. Afifa, 24, is going to visit Japan in the end of June after 14 years to get herself a new artificial leg in Oda-shi, Shimane Prefecture located in western Japan.

The manufacturer "Nakamura Brace" which produces artificial limb and an equipment in the city, used as a stage of the movie, will present Afifa a new artificial leg.

The exchange between Afifa and Nakamura Brace have stopped for a long time. The president of the said maker received an e-mail from Afifa in January this year. "My artificial leg broke, and no one could fix it. Please help me." It was revealed that her artificial leg didn't match any more by her growth and worsened quality of the artificial leg.

Japanese source:

Deaf senior citizen residence opens in Sapporo, first in Japan
May 23, 2017

The "Village of Smiles", a house with a service for the Deaf senior citizens aged over 60 opened in Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, on April 1. (photo)

Sapporo Association of the Deaf achieved an earnest wish in 40 years: a living place without worrying about being Deaf you can enjoy living. It is assumed to be the first housing with a service for the elder Deaf across Japan.

The "Village of Smiles" has three floors: the second and third floors are used as a resident room. At most 24 people live in 20 rooms including double rooms. A single room will be charged 100,000~120,000 yen a month including rent, board and others.

A small-scale multi-functional type home nursing business managed by the Association is on the first floor. So far 14 people moved in 12 rooms by April 26.

Japanese source:

Sign language club for child rearing mother celebrates 10th anniversary

Maruyama (front center)
May 27, 2017

A Deaf mother, Maruyama Kiyomi, started the child rearing sign language club named "Pingu" in Tokachi, Hokkaido, Japan's northern island. Deaf and hearing mothers with their children enjoy sharing a time at the same time as learning sign language.

Maruyama who was bringing up her baby was unable to follow conversation in other child-rearing club. She started a club with two mothers who were able to sign in April, 2007.

A Deaf mother, and a hearing mother who was interested in sign language while  rearing her children joined in the club one after another.

The club celebrated its 10th anniversary of establishment this year. (photo)  Currently 13 sets of mother with children aged 20-40s, and Maruyama and others aged 30-50s belong to the club. Among them there are four Deaf mothers.

Hearing mothers commented: "There aren't other places where you can take a child and interchange by sign language. I'm enjoying myself very much," "An ambiguity isn't to Deaf persons, and they are clear about likes and dislikes. We are learning Deaf culture". 

Japanese source:

Video on sign language used at the time of flood damage introduced
May 27, 2017
The "Chiyokawa Basin Zone Meeting" made with officials and the people in the Tottori Prefecture East developed a video titled the "sign language for protection against disasters" which appeals Deaf persons for evacuation at the time of flood damage occurrence.

"Run away!" Both arms are shaken big to the direction for run away. (photo)

17 vocabularies such as "Run away!" "A river is flooded", which are made of both gestures and sign language are introduced for quick escape in case of emergency.

The protection against disasters signs were made by the meeting with cooperation of the Prefecture Association of the Deaf in response to the Sign Language Regulation establishment in 2013. 

Risk of failing to escape is high because escape information by a protection against disasters administrative radio fails to transmit through local Deaf persons. When the person who lives in the neighborhood uses a disaster-related sign, it'll be possible to appeal to the Deaf for immediate escape.

Japanese sources:

Actress appointed as a sign language ambassador
May 26, 2017
Kanagawa Prefecture next to Tokyo established "Sign Language Promotion Regulation" in 2014.

The Prefecture Federation of the Deaf recommended an actress Saito Yuki, 50,  as an ambassador of the spread enlightenment on sign language.

An investiture took place at the Prefecture Office on May 25. (photo) 

Saito, a residence of Yokohama-shi in the prefecture, assumed a sign language spread promotion ambassador. Saito will participate in enlightenment events.

Her grandparents who passed away were Deaf, and Saito was familiar with sign language since her childhood.

Japanese source:

Deaf students experience home stay in local area

Twelve Deaf students, high school seniors of Hiratsuka School for the Deaf (118 students) in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo, are visiting Rikuzentakata-shi, Iwate Prefecture in Japan's northeast area, staying at private houses for two days from May 24, as school excursion. 

Acceptance of Deaf students to stay overnight at a private house is the first time to the said city and uncommon to the prefecture, too.

The School for the Deaf planned so that the Deaf student can meet hearing people and gain valuable experience before leaving the school. 

All the students experience agriculture by each home (photo), learn the situation of the earthquake disaster six years ago, enjoying the atmosphere in the local area which is completely different from a metropolitan area.

Japanese source:

Prefectural Office and Prefecture Hospital offer remote interpreting service through tablet end
May 23, 2017

Oita Prefecture located in Japan's southern island has started remote interpreting service for Deaf persons by installing a tablet terminal in each reception desk of the prefecture office and the prefecture hospital.

When the Deaf visitor who prefers communication through sign language, the staff at the reception desk connects a terminal for an interpreter in the Prefecture Deaf Center, using a tablet end. (photo)

Japanese source:

Deaf man reduces "invisible wall" - "I don't escape from hearing difficulties"

Nakama (second from left)
May 22, 2017

Nakama Masahito, 39, who takes charge of decision processing on campus and managing of a document and an official seal at Okinawa Science Technology University Graduate School is Deaf since birth. 

While at all workplaces, an office work contact often depends on an e-mail, what Nakama tries to do is to meet and tell the person concerned directly.

In the communication, if there is something like a "wall" even a little, Nakama doesn't escape from there, but stands with the concerned person. 

Nakama went to the Prefecture Okinawa School for the Deaf which was in Naha-shi in 1980 's. He learned how to speak at school. He says, "The lip reading that I learned at school is the biggest treasure for me." 

Nakama attended a hearing school from an elementary school through the high school, and entered Tsukuba Technology College, majoring in architectural engineering. After graduating, he worked in the field of architecture design at a building company in Tokyo, Nagano and Fukuoka and others, returning to Okinawa in 2007.

Nakama was hired by Okinawa Science Technology University in 2010. He has been trusted by a staff with disabilities, whom he hears their worries and giving advise.

Nakama also tries to make the people around him understand himself through interchanging, such as using time of the lunch break, he teaches sign language to a colleague. (photo)

Nakama commented,  "I would like to do positively to make the society where people, regardless of disabilities, are able to work together."

Japanese source: