First group for the Deafblind formed in Yamanashi Prefecture

Deafblind members enjoy communication

The first group for the Deafblind was formed in Yamanashi Prefecture to offer the Deafblind the opportunity to share their life experience and problems to be solved.

It is not easy for them to get information unless they are provided with the interpreter and the helper; they tend to shut themselves in home. There is few chance for their social interaction.

Emi Ozawa (34), a Deaf counselor, and others concerned organized the group meeting to provide the Deafblind residents to meet one another. About 30 participated.

It is estimated there are 91 Deafblind persons in the prefecture according to the National Deafblind Society. Ozawa says, "There is little contact on side among them, and we don't know their actual state."

The first exchange program was held in the Yamanashi Information Service Center for the Deaf in Kofu City on July 28. The participating Deafblind members introduced by themselves, and talked about the recent situation and the worry by tactile sign language.

One of the members says, "I was happy to meet the new friends because I have always stayed alone at home. I want to join the group activities and enjoy cooking and shopping with them".

A regular session is planned to promote friendship among the members and the family. Moreover, taking the opportunity of the exchange program, the cooperation of the interpreter and the helper is to be strengthened, as well as securing of the interpreter and the helper be appealed to the prefecture administration.

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