On September 30, a group called "The Study Group on Deaf Education in Saitama Prefecture" met with Kazuo Shimamura, superintendent of the Prefectural Education Bureau, and requested to leave the name of two prefectural schools for the deaf in the prefecture. They also submitted the 13,637 signatures to him. The group is consisted of deaf persons and those concerned.
The School Education Law was revised to form or change to a special support school to meet the needs of children with multiple disabilities. Starting in the fiscal year of 2007, not only schools for the deaf, but also schools for the blind as well as schools for impaired children are going to be changed to special support schools nationwide. The Prefectural Education Bureau is under review on the change of the two prefectural schools for the deaf, Omiya School for the Deaf and Sakado School for the Deaf.
The group says "The term of special support is discriminatory. We want them to continue the name of the schools for the deaf of which we are proud."
The Prefectural Deaf Association and sign language circles have worked to collect signatures since July to support their goal.
Chairman Yoshihiro Yokoshima (50) explains, "We want the schools for the deaf to keep the specialty that meets the needs of deaf children, not allowing to mix with children with other disabilities."
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 6, 2008