Kyoto-shi to establish regulation for Deaf tourist hospitality

January 5, 2016

Kyoto-shi in western Japan where bustles with a tourist will establish the "Sign Language Regulation" (tentative name) soon which assumes hospitality to a tourist who is Deaf.

A regulation about sign language has been established by at least 32 local government bodies, but the one which includes a tourist in a regulation is unusual.

A draft regulation will be concluded in February by the Kyoto City Council. The City Office will consider a concrete plan for training of a sightseeing sign language guide and the spread of international sign language interpreting.

There are about 60,000 Deaf persons who use sign language daily in the whole country according to Japanese Federation of the Deaf.

Japanese source:

Governor's press conference sign-language interpreted first in northeastern Japan

January 1, 2016

Yamagata Prefecture Office has decided the policy to introduce interpretation for Governor Yoshimura Mieko's message as a principle in the regular press conference held once a week, starting at a press conference for the beginning of the year on January 4, 2016. 

Sign-language interpretation of a governor press conference is for the first time in Japan's northeastern region.

In addition to a part time employee in the Prefecture Health Welfare Department, a certified interpreter from the Prefecture Association of the Deaf will interpret for the Governor.

Tottori-ken in western Japan has introduced its Governor's interview interpreted already. Even Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's press conference is performed with interpretation.

Japanese source:

Deafblind man takes lead in social involvement

Kadogawa Shinichiro (right) attended the disabilities 
policy conference of the Cabinet Office with 
interpretation through a finger braille.
December 31, 2015

Kadogawa Shinichiro has taken the lead personally in order to advance a social involvement of a Deafblind person, such as attending a committee of UN Person with Disabilities Right Treaty, visiting foreign countries more than 20 times. 

His activity at the inside and outside of the country was estimated and was honored with the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare testimonial commending in December.

Kadogawa was born with amblyopia and became Deaf at the age of four. When he was a high school senior at a school for the visually impaired, he met Dr. Fukushima Satoru, 53, the University of Tokyo professor who was the Japan's first Deafblind college student and learned about the "finger braille" that Fukushima spread. Kadokawa finally found to enjoy the conversation through the method for the first time.

He went to a university following Fukushima, and even went to USA and studied social rehabilitation training. He didn't go about getting a job. Instead he believed that a Deafblind person like himself has to do something for the Deafblind community, starting a vocational rehabilitation center for the Deafblind in Osaka-shi in 1999. 

As the chief director, Kadokawa leads about 20 Deafblind persons aiming at starting working currently.

Japanese source:

Hearing art teacher at Deaf school in Thailand

Takaishi Junichi  (center) teaches 
Deaf students fine arts.
December 30, 2015  

Takaishi Junichi, 61, a former teacher of fine arts, has been assigned to the Setsatian School for the Deaf located in metropolitan Bangkok, Thailand as a member of an overseas volunteer senior of Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) since almost half year ago.

Takaishi, a native from Fukuoka-shi in southern Japan, was a design teacher. He retired at the age of 60, two years earlier before a retiring age. It's because he had the goal already that he wanted to challenge overseas.

After passing the test for a "volunteer senior" last summer and learning Thai language at the JICA training center, he moved to Thailand in March, 2015.

Takaishi teaches about ten high school students fine arts at the school. He is learning Thai sign language, and sometimes he uses gestures to help communication better. He says he feels the joy and responsible to teach them every day once more.

Japanese source:

Fund-raising underway for construction of Deaf senior home

People concerned appeal fund-raising 
in front of Wakayama Station.

December 21, 2015  

Wakayama-shi, Wakayama:

The Prefecture Federation of the Deaf and concerned groups, aiming at construction of a home for the Deaf aged for the first time in the prefecture, did a fund-raising campaign of a building cost in front of JR Wakayama Station in Wakayama-shi, western Japan on December 19.

There are nine homes for the Deaf aged across the country according to the federation. However, as there is no such a facility in the prefecture. The aged residents who are Deaf have to enter a home for the hearing aged. There are some problems such as the visual equipment for the Deaf, accessibility in signed communication, etc., and a home for the Deaf aged has been requested.

A home for the Deaf senior will open in the city in autumn in 2017.

Japanese source: