Deaf counselor tells her work experience of about 20 years

Mutsuko Kuwata, a Deaf counselor
who deals with the Deaf client
in sign language

Mutsuko Kuwata has worked as a part-time counselor for the Deaf in the city hall at Obihiro-shi, Hokkaido since 1990.

The issues that Deaf clients bring up are various. Sometimes when she has to find information needed or help, she visits not only the Welfare Division for the Physically Challenged, but also other related divisions in the city hall and/or other public agencies/groups outside. She deals with at most about ten clients a day, but she says, "When it's settled, I'm very happy".

Her hearing declined since when she was 6 years old by a side effect of an injection. "I don't hear a siren of a police car at present". So she understands how a person became deafened later feels, and doesn't talk about it. "I'm anxious about the person who wants to have counseling".

Next year she will work for two decades as a Deaf counselor. "I could keep working thanks to everyone who has supported me," said she modestly.

"I'd like to be even a little helpful." She made the decision to continue playing a role to support Deaf persons in trouble.

Source in Japanese:

Mother publishes book on her deaf son

Ritsuko Kajisita (left) says,
"I hope my book gives the reader like myself
encouragement". Her son, Reiki (right)

Ritsuko Kajisita (46), living in Hiroshima City, published a book titled "My son is a deaf tennis player". She wrote about his growth and the family relationship through the tennis.

The book about her eldest son Reiki (15), a junior high school 3rd grader, since his birth. She writes in the book, "Even if there is an obstacle, you are not defeated by a hearing person and I want you to live with a confidence".

Reiki was born deaf with unknown cause. Since 4 years old, he has played tennis under the guidance of his father, the owner of a tennis school.

Early September, he participated in the Deaflympics in Taiwan as one of the Japanese representatives and and won the first silver medal by a male singles. He is one of the most expected young players who will also join the National Sports Meet in Niigata Prefecture on October 26.

Source in Japanese:

"Japanese writing skills" course scheduled for October and November in Tokyo

The intensive "Japanese writing skills" course is scheduled for one day respectively in October and November in Tokyo.

Tentative program:

1) October 28, Wednesday, 10:00-17:30
-to improve the writing skills in order to e-mail and/or write a paper.
-to understand appropriate use of a particle in order to write a business document.

2) November 20, Friday, 10:00-17:30
-to learn how to use a verb and to express with it.
-to improve the writing skills in order to e-mail and/or write a paper.
-to fill out a business document.

The lecture will use the illustration on the slide through PowerPoint.

The textbook with the illustration shown on the slide will be distributed for free of charge. Therefore it isn't necessary to use the blackboard.

The lecture will be provided in JSL as the hearing lecturer is a certified interpreter and a college lecturer.

Any hearing person is also welcome to take the course.

Source in English:
DEAF-NEWS (subscription)

National Gathering of the Deaf with Usher Syndrome to be held in Tochigi Prefecture in October

The 5th National Gathering of the Deaf with Usher Syndrome will be held in Tochigi Prefecture on October 10-11, 2009.

The program is scheduled as follows.

October 10, Saturday 13:00-17:00

1. Opening ceremony

2. Learning meeting:
Basic knowledge about the Usher Syndrome

3. Mini lecture:
"A hobby that a deaf persons with usher syndrome enjoy"
by Kazuyo Takahashi

4. Open discussion:
"How to run the Society of the Deaf with Usher Syndrome"
presented by
Masanori Osugi, president of the National Deaf Blind Organizations Council;
and Satoru Iori, member of the National Deaf Blind Society

October 11, 9:30-12:00
1. Mini lecture:
"About myself having the usher syndrome"
Mr. Kouji Kobayashi

2. Open discussion:
"The Issues, Troubles and Dream that Deaf persons with Usher Syndrome have"

Language: JSL.
No interpreting provided.

Source in Japanese:
DEWF-NEWS (subscription)

Deaf craftsman exhibiting his craft works in gallery in Saga City

Hirochika Kubo
with his variegated craft works in gallery
"Getting-up Koboshi" stand on the below.

Craft works of Hroichika Kubo, a Deaf craftsman, are exhibited in the gallery "White" in Saga City until September 20.

A variegated work such as dolls and casques with a magnificent decoration, and various expressions of "Getting-up Koboshi" queues up.

Kubo has studied the sculpture and the Japanese style painting, etc. by himself, and has expanded the range of the creation by his rich sensibility.

There are about 30 kinds of "Getting -up Koboshi" such as barbarians and kappas that he made with the wish, "Stand up again even if there is a difficulty". These unique expressions are so popular that he doesn't catch up with the order.

He says, "My works cover almost every field in which I work on the creation. I want a lot of people to see them".

Source in Japanese:

Documentary movie on three international Deaf families to be shown in Osaka in October

Deaf family in Japan, Canada, and South Korea

A Documentary movie, titled "A Deaf Family in Japan, Canada, and South Korea" (65 minutes, Japanese-captioned) will be shown in Osaka City on October 4, Sunday.

The Deaf family in each country is introduced in the movie.

The movie was produced based on the concept: family ties are the same in spite of different languages in Japan, Canada, and South Korea.

The movie tells us that love of the Deaf parents to their Deaf children is the same in spite of cultural differences in these countries.

While the Studio AYA, led by Ayako Imamura, a Deaf director, filmed each family in Japan and Canada, the Deaf Media, a South Korean visual production group, did the part on South Korea.

Source in Japanese:

New Book on Coda to be published in September in Japan

A new book, titled "The Coda World: Culture of sign language and culture of speech" will be published in September, 2009.

Tomoko Shibuya, the author, wrote the book based mainly on interviews with Codas and their Deaf parents.

The daily life of Coda, who is the hybrid of "Deaf culture" and "hearing culture, is full of surprises.

Does the baby cries after the parents turn around? Because a young girl tends to stare you in the face, does she easily get misunderstood?

This book is about the daily life of the coda, which is vividly described to demonstrate the core of the culturally cross-communication.

248 pages
price 2,100 yen
published by Igaku-shoin

Deaf school to be changed to "Integrated Special Support School for Hearing Impaired" in Toyama Prefecture in April, 2010

The shift from the Deaf schools to the special support schools that enroll the Deaf children having other disability is advanced in the country.

However, the approach for keeping the name of "School for the Deaf" has extended in Shizuoka and Shiga Prefectures, etc., too.

In Toyama Prefecture where two schools for the deaf are located, it has been decided that the mentally impaired children be newly enrolled in these schools, after in the prefectural school administration plan was revised in 2007 for the realignment plan.

The prefecture educational board plans to assume "Toyama School for the Deaf" and "Takaoka School for the Deaf" to be "Toyama Integrated Support School for the Hearing Impaired" and "Takaoka Integrated Support School for the Hearing Impaired" respectively in April, 2010 according to the plan.

The Toyama Prefecture Association of the Deaf criticized, saying that "It is not fair that they have decided it without asking for our opinion in even the process of the basic plan".

They explained, "The word, "Deaf", might be assumed to be used for the discrimination, but we use it to mean that the person who can not hear use sign language, participating in the society". They demanded to put the word, "Deaf", in the renewed school names.

However, board officials explained, "The word 'Hearing impairment' is used in School Education Law, and the renewed schools will act as a central education center for the hearing impaired including the hard of hearing". They would not change the policy to use the school name, "Integrated Special Support School for Hearing Impaired".

Officials of the association says, "We want them to understand we are proud of being Deaf, though it is regrettable not to be able to keep the school name".

Source in Japanese:

Emergency drill at Deaf school: communication issue pointed out

Deaf student (right) tells the teacher
who interprets for a medical staff (left)

There was an emergency drill at the Kagoshima Prefecture School for the Deaf in Kagoshima City on September 9.

About 190 people from ten groups, including the City Fire Prevention and Control Department and the Deaf school, participated. This time, it was the first drill with the use of writing and interpreting.

It was assumed that the carbon monoxide was generated from the cooking room. Participating were 35 pupils and students from elementary through high school levels .

Out of them 5 students acted as if injured and received "Triage" that applied the priority level of the relief and treatment from medic's disaster medical assistance team (DMAT). Team members confirmed the injury situation by writing while using the questionnaire prepared beforehand. Communications were tried with the help from teachers who interpreted.

One of the high school students who acted as injured said uneasily, "Communication will be one-sided if any Deaf student lacks the skill to tell what is wrong, and it will look like him/her as seriously injured".

A doctor who was on DMAT pointed out the communication issue, saying, "There is something not understood how much different it is between the two parties; Deaf and hearing. We are afraid we likely not to catch up on an actual situation if writing were used".

Source in Japanese:

Emergency training conducted at school for the deaf in Kagoshima City

Emergency training took place at the Kagoshima Prefecture School for the Deaf in Kagoshima City on September 9, which was based on the assumption
that the carbon monoxide poisoning was generated in the school dormitory .

About 180 people from eight groups such as the city medical association participated in the training. They confirmed how to work in cooperation on a first-aid treatment and the transportation, etc. of the injured persons.

The training was sponsored by the City Fire Prevention and Control Administration. This time, the Deaf were given priority on the injured person's priority selection (triage) by the severity of symptoms in preparation for the diversification of the disaster accident.

After the Deaf students had taken shelter from the schoolhouse to the schoolyard, the firemen who had put on the hazard mask rescued the injured persons in training. Doctors of the disaster medical assistance team communicated by writing, and the triage was executed.

After poisonous fumes were exhausted, the doctors examined the injured persons who were carried out to outdoor and gave a first-aid treatment. The seriously injured persons were transported to the hospital by the ambulance. The interpreters helped with the communication in the tents set up on the schoolyard.

Source in Japanese: (photo included)

Interpreters translate from video on Deaf atomic bomb victims' experience

Eiko Yamazaki,
representing the Deaf atomic bomb victims,
gives a speech in JSL

Interpreters work on the JSL video

Nagasaki Branch of the National Sign Language Interpreting Issues Study Society is working on the video that recorded the experiences related by the Deaf atomic bomb victims in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki City.

When they expressed in JSL, they used not only the hands but also their whole body. They tell us their uneasiness when exposed to radiation and a slight mind over suffering in postwar days, more than the text record.

About 20 branch members are translating JSL on the video to spoken Japanese language and writing an explanation of JSL expressed.

Eiko Yamazaki (82), a Deaf woman from Nagasaki City talked about her experience of being an atomic bomb victim. She was born Deaf. During the war, she did not understand what had happened even if the warning red rang and was very uneasy.

She returned to the parents' home in the vicinity of the ground zero to look for her elder sister immediately after the atomic bombing, and was exposed to radiation.

In the peace memorial ceremony held on August 9, 2003, she served as the radiation victim representative, telling the audience about her wish for the world at peace.

According to the branch, about 100 Deaf people in Nagasaki Prefecture were exposed to radiation, and out of them about 30 people died. Even those who survived, they were not aware of the realities of the atomic bomb for a while in postwar days as no one told them the fact.

The branch founded in 1983 has collected the Deaf radiation victims' testimonies at first. The stories by nineteen Deaf persons have been recorded in the video so far.

Their testimony was brought together in a video titled "Let My Hands Speak" in 1986. However, the problem was how to translate such a rich signed expression into Japanese language.

The branch hopes that the video on the Deaf testimonies will be used as a sign language teaching material in the future, because all their realistic war experiences, historical background of prewar days through postwar days, and their deep emotions are not found in any text material.

Source in Japanese:

Cultural Seminar on Deafness to take place in Tokyo in October and November

The Second Cultural Seminar on Deafness at university level will take place at Social Welfare University in Tokyo from October until November, 2009.

All the lecturers from the various fields will be Deaf, presenting in JSL; interpreting will not be provided.

The tentative topics will be as follows:

October 2:
-Mingling with the Deaf aged
Ms. Keiko Iwata (counselor for the Deaf)

October 9:
-Phonology in JSL
Mr. Soya Mori (linguist/Senior Researcher of Development School of the Institute of Developing Economies )

October 16:
-Deaf History
Mr. Hideaki Nasu (historian/caster for TV JSL news program)

October 23:
-Deaf Women Studies
Ms. Rumiko Nagai (leader of the Lifestyle of Deaf Women)

November 6:
-Deaf culture from a viewpoint of JSL
Ms. Yoko Kazumi (head of the Nonprofit Organization JSL Teaching Center)

November 7:
Mr. Satoshi Ozonoe (JSL instructor at the National Rehabilitation for the Handicapped)

-Deaf Education
Ms. Hitomi Akahori (teacher of Meisei Gakuen)

November 13:
Mr. Shinichiro Nakayama (linguistic researcher of Japan Sign Language Studies Center)

Related link:

Source in Japanese:
DEAF-NEWS (subscription)

Deaf pharmacist's experience in discrimination portrayed in Deaf movie

According to the press release from Showa University, Kumi Hayase is currently working as a Deaf pharmacist as well as taking charge of the Deaf outpatients in the Showa University hospital.

Though she once passed the National Examination for Pharmacist, because she was Deaf, she was not allowed to get the license.

Afterwards, law revision was made by the signature campaign that 2.2 million people signed in support of Kumi's effort across the country in July, 2001.

Kentaro, her Deaf husband, wrote the script and directed the movie titled "The Transfer Leaves" partly based on Kumi's real experience.

This movie tells how the Deaf fought against discrimination because of deafness. It was produced in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of establishment of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf.

This movie has been screened one by one in the country since June, 2009.

Related link:

Source in Japanese:

Deaf high school baseball player performs at first pitch ceremony

The first pitch ceremony was held in the fourth quarterfinal game of the inter-city baseball tournament in Tokyo Dome on August 30.

Masakazu Ishiduka (16), a high school freshman at Kanagawa Prefecture Hiratsuka School for the Deaf, threw a ball out to his mother, Kyoko (41) who was his catcher. The ball shed her mitt.

Masakazu put off his hat and shyly smiled in front of the 11,000 spectators who gave him a large shout of joy and applause.

He became deaf caused by the high fever when he was seven months old. When he was 4 years old, he was enrolled in Yokohama Municipal School for the Deaf.

It was so far from his home that his father had to remain in the hometown because of his job; Masakazw and his mother moved near the school and they started to live in an apartment. After returning from the school he used to paly a ball with mother, which he indeed enjoyed.

He returned to the hometown when he was a fifth grader of elementary school, and was enrolled in a hearing junior high school in the town. He joined the rubber-ball baseball team.

His skills didn't reach far compared with his hearing teammates though the world was widened. He sometimes cried because communication with them did not go well. He often shut himself up in his own room.

He was transferred to the middle school department of Hiratsuka School for the Deaf and joined the rubber-ball baseball team. The smile returned to him. He was happy to talk in sign language with Deaf friends. He had a friend who would play with him on holiday, too. He has practiced so hard that he works now as the shortstop and the reliever.

His team participated in the preliminary contest in Kanagawa Prefecture for the national rubber baseball tournament this summer and was defeated cold in the first match. However, there are some teammates who have a dream of becoming a professional baseball player.

Masakazu stood on the mound in the dome with the uniform used for the practice and threw out the ball with "his teammates' dream on his shoulders".

After the first pitch ceremony, Mother watched her left hand and said with a wry smile that it was painful. And yet she was happy with her son getting mature.

Masakazu, gripping the ball thrown for the ceremony firmly, said, "My team will win next time".

Source in Japanese: