Data on Schools for the Deaf in Japan, 2007-2008

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology published documents and data related to the Schools for the Deaf natiowide for the academic year of 2007-2008.

Excerpted as follows:

-The number of schools for the deaf: 102 (the previous academic year: 104)

*Currently there are one natinal school and one private school, and the rest are public schools.

-The number of deaf children/students from preschool thorough advanced classes: 6,518

-The number of teachers: 4,897

-The number of staff: 1,804

-The number of deaf children admitted to elementary schools for the special-needs: 1,208

The largest number of school for the deaf was 110 from 1978 until 1984.

A New Trial System Starts in 2009; the Deaf Involved as Jury

The trial system to involve citizens as jury (lay juror) will start in May, 2009.

The Supreme Court published a guideline on how to provide accommodations to persons with disabilities in May, 2008.

For the person with visual impairement, the document on the procedure to select jurors is translated into braille and sent to him/her.

As well interpreting and/or note-taking will be offered for the deaf and hard of hearing persons during the trial.

In July, a first-ever mock trial was held in Tokyo District Court with a 42-year-old Deaf woman participating as a juror.

During the two-day trial, there were three interpreters provided for her.

The mock trial involved an attempted murder in which a 70-year-old defendant was accused of stabbing a man. The focus was to determine if the defendant premeditated the murder.

After the mock trial, the Deaf juror, who is a full-time instructor of a national training program for interpreters, said, "I am afraid if there are enough qualified interpreters in local areas. Also it may be impossible for a deaf juror to give a comment unless asked during the discussion.

First Deaf Person Who Passed the Medical License Exam

Kumiko Takezawa, a 25-year-old deaf woman from Otsu in Japan, has passed the medical doctor's license examination this March.

She was the first deaf person since the Medical Practitioners Law was revised in 2001 to allow the deaf and visually impaired persons to take the test.

Takezawa graduated from the Shiga University of Medical Science in the city earlier this year.

Takezawa, whose hometown is Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, lost her hearing for unknown reasons when she was 2 years old.

She attended hearing schools, utilizing hearing aids and lip reading.

Takezawa decided to become a doctor when she was a third-year middle school student. She entered university in 2001.

She said, "when I become a doctor, I may specialize in otolaryngology to help persons with the same disability as mine.

Source: Yomiuri Online