Regional conference of the Deaf-Blind to be held in Matsue City in November

The Chugoku-Shikoku Regional Conference of the Deaf-blind will be held in Matsue City, Simane Prefecture, a western part of Japan, on November 15-16, 2008.

The preparation is underway by the organizing committee. It consists of only the Deaf-blind members, which is a rare case. They are unusually enthusiastic as part of social participation.

The regional conference started 13 years ago. There was no organizations of the Deaf-blind in the Chuogoku and Shikoku regions until the first organization of the Deaf-blind was formed in Okayama Prefecture. They have continued the study meeting and the fellowships exchange.

Shimane Prefecture will have the regional conference for the first time. The participants will not only attend the conference for two days, but also enjoy sightseeing in Matsue City and meet the local residents.

The organizing committee started with nine Deaf-blind members in June, 2008. They all belong to the "Shimane Deaf-Blind Society" where they learn how to use braille every Wednesday. With two interpreters, each has been working on the conference program such as opening ceremonies, the sessions, and social activities.

Because the level of the disability and how to take communications are different, the members spend time in the discussion. Various methods of communications like the FM auditory system, note-taking, tactic method, etc. are used during the meeting.

Masatoshi Yamamoto (36), chairman of the Society, expects the success in the conference, saying that meeting with different individuals would give happiness though the preparation was not easy.

About 250 persons including those who support the Deaf-blind are expected to participate on that day. The netsuke of the corbicula from which the members made will be given as a souvenir.

Source: Sanin-Chuou Shimpo, Oct. 18, 2008

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