Seminar tells all people including the Deaf to get related of each other in normal circumstances for disaster prevention

About 15 years have passed since the earthquake of a large scale, named the "Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake", occurred in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture in 1995.

The "Disaster Prevention Seminar" took place at the prefecture hall in Kobe City on June 10, 2009.

The groups concerned on the disaster prevention reported on study results.

About 200 persons participated, pondering about the importance of "precautions against the disaster".

Jun Tanaka, a researcher and University of Tokyo graduate school professor, gave a presentation, titled "The Lesson of Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and Vulnerable People's Problems in the Revival Process".

According to him, the mortality rate of the vulnerable including persons with disabilities was 0.6%-1.3% which was high.

The following factors were stated as example immediately after struck:

-They were not able to immediately learn something wrong and escape from the danger.

-Those who were buried under the broken buildings were unable to call for help.

-The wheelchair, the white walking-stick, and the hearing aid were lost in the broken buildings.

Tanaka also pointed out on severe life after the disaster: The rest room and the bath were not available at all even in the shelter; neither the medicine nor the commodities were obtained.

These condition forced the people to live a hard life, being left from the revival process.

The administration's measure for the disaster protection of those vulnerable improved after the earthquake. However, there are too many needy people to cover all.

Tanaka concluded, "It is a society that produces the vulnerable people against the disaster. It is important to make the society that all people are related of each other easily in normal circumstances".

Moreover, the approach of the communication regarding disaster information for Deaf people and the visually disabled by using the cell phone text message and the fax, etc. in Hyogo prefecture and other city was introduced.

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Deaf photograph exhibition held in Kyoto City

Deaf photograph exhibition in Kyoto City

The photograph exhibition is held on June 12-21, 2009 in a center, called the Community Sagano, in Kyoto City. All the photographs were taken by the Deaf.

The visitors gaze ardently to the photographs filled with the rich feeling.

To make persons with disabilities live for something worth, the Kyoto City Association of the Deaf and the Kyoto Tachibana Lions Club have been holding the photography contest for four years. This time, it opened for the first time so that more people might see.

There are 62 photographs selected for the exhibition in the hall. A scene of New York in rain, a view of Arashiyama in the autumn tint, a serious expression on a prayer's face. All these works show visual power of
the Deaf persons.

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Police training school students learn sign language and Deaf life

In order to understand feelings of Deaf persons, and to attempt communications, the sign language course was held in the Police Training School in Kai city, Yamanashi Prefecture, and 74 students and regional policemen participated.

Kayoko Nishina, a member of the Yamanashi Prefecture Association of the Deaf, who became deaf at the age of 2, explained a daily life of the Deaf, etc. with the slides based on the real experience.

The students were listening ardently. In the practice, they were learning words such as "koban (police stand box)" and "police station" besides the method of the self introduction by sign language.

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Doctor arrested for swindling through false diagnosis on deafness

Doctor arrested by Prefecture Police (with mask)

The Hokkaido Prefecture Police arrested a grop of hearing men on June 11, 2009 on the suspicion of the swindle, and the false medical certificate making and its exercise.

They were an otolaryngologist (74) who operates a private clinic in Sapporo City, a public consultant on social and labor insurance (67) who executed the application procedure on the disablement pension as a proxy, and an individual (60) who introduced the doctor to applicants for the acquisition of the physical disability certificate.

The police has been advancing the investigation, searching for the clinic on the suspicion of making the false medical certificate, since September, 2008.

The police has strongly assumed that the doctor gave hearing clients a false examination to prove profound hearing impairment which was quite different from the realities, and that the group received some money from the pensions.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, a popular news paper, at least 137 persons acquired disability certificate based on the doctor's diagnosis and received the disablement pension in 2002-2007 fiscal years. It is expected that the amount would mount up to about 370 million yen in total.

Moreover, since the fiscal year of 1999, 768 persons received the subsidies of about 250 million yen for the medical expense in total.

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The Revised Copyright Act allows caption and sign language in movies and TV programs

The Revised Copyright Act to solve the problems related with the Internet was passed, and approved unanimously in the House of Councilors plenary session on June 12, 2009. This act will be enforced on January 1, 2010.

This revision has aimed at the solution of the problems in the Copyright Act in the days of the Internet, etc., to promote the circulation of digital contents when the publications are used.

In the revised act, the article concerning the needs of persons with disabilities is as follows.

(3) To secure the opportunity for the person with disability to use information, the range that can be done without the permission from the writer and persons concerned is expanded.

-Facilities to transcribe books for the visually impaired shall be expand to the public library, etc.

-The movie and the TV program may include caption and/or sign language for the Deaf and hard of hearing.

-The reproduction may be applied by the method that meets the needs of the person who have a difficulty to use because of the developmental disorder, etc.

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Dr. Thomas Holcomb to present lecture in Japan

Dr. Thomas Holcomb, who is one of several Deaf professionals with a PhD in Deaf education, currently teaches Deaf culture, Deaf education, Deaf children Development and Deaf counseling, and also trains interpreters at Ohlone College.

He will come to Japan again to lecture as follows. ASL will be used, and JSL/spoken Japanese interpretation will be provided.

1. Lectures:
Theme:"Live as a Deaf person"
He will explain American Deaf culture, including identity, culture, education, and an interpreter's ideal ways, etc. Some video will be shown.

Date: July 4, Saturday, 21:30-24:00
Place: Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture

Date: July 10, Friday, 18:30-21:00
Place: Tokyo

2. Japan-U.S. panel discussion
Theme: How are the deaf culture and the education of Japan and the United States different?

Date: July 11, Saturday, 18:30-20:30
Place: Asaka City, Saitama Prefecture

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DEAF NEWS (suscription)

City council introduces interpreting in official meeting

To help the Deaf understand the contents of the assembly, the Okinawa Prefecture Naha City Council decided on June 8, 2009 to introduce an interpreting service in the plenary session. The interpreting will be in the gallery of the Council.

The Naha City Council was the first kind in the prefecture to make the outline of the service to be conducted, which was decided by the unanimous approval from each assembly group.

According to the investigation by the National Association of City Council Chairpersons, located in Tokyo, there are 165, out of the 806 councils nationwide in total, that have introduced the interpreting that hit 20.5%, as of December, 2007.

The interpreting started with individual questions from the assembly members in the meeting on June 9, 2009. A Deaf man (52), who observed the meeting, said, "The Prefecture and other municipalities should provide interpreting, too".

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(Photo included)

Report: actual situation of support provided by medical schools for Deaf students

Report on the support service to Deaf medical students

The National Sign Language Training Center, located in Kyoto City, investigated the situation of support services that the Deaf medical students receive, and summarized it in the report early this June.

The report points out a lot of problems such as the medical schools with many practices were not able to solve only by a traditional supporting method such as note taking, etc.

The "disqualification clauses" in the Medical Law and the Dental Practitioner Law, etc. that did not allow the persons with disabilities to acquire the license was abolished in 2001.

The Center has started to examine 1162 medical schools to understand the realities of the support needed by the Deaf students in the future.

Out of the examined schools, 190 schools (16・3%) have experienced in admission of the Deaf students. This showed that the admission rate after 2001 has increased to about twice time.

Regarding the support service to the Deaf students, it was found a lot of problems because of the nature of the medical education system.

For an instance, some of the problems are:

・Communications cannot be effectively taken during the practice.

・The quality of external volunteers does not match the professionalism highly required in medical education, etc.

Also some medical schools have faced the difficulties in meeting the needs of their Deaf students as they have few experience when such students are admitted.

Shinichi Koide (60), Secretary-general at the Center, says, "We found out again that both the students and medical schools have a hard time.

The contents of the support of each university is recorded in the report. We want the concerned schools to use the report as a reference".

Source in Japanese:

Deaf hostess at gathering in Ginza related with her new book: "Talk-in-writing Hostess"

Rie Saito in kimono, with her autobiography

Rie Saito (25) , a Deaf woman who works as a popular hostess at the night club in Ginza, Tokyo, held a handshake gathering that commemorated her new book, titled "The Talk-In-Writing Hostess" (Kobunsha Publishing Co.), for the sale at a coffee shop,"Swan Cafe Ginza," on May 31, 2009.

In the interview by writing, Saito appealed that her charm was a pleasant and expressive personality .

When asked about her ideal image of man, she replied with a pretty smile, "I say in one sentence: a man who stimulates me".

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