Group hitchhikes for 750 kilos from Kobe to Tokyo to promote understanding of Deaf needs

The Independence Living Center in Hyogo Prefecture, called "Mainstream Society", planned that a group hitchhike about 750 kilos from Kobe to Tokyo. They would sleep outside at night or stay at some one's home.

It was planned by Ibuki Tanaka (24), a Deaf staff member of the society. He says, "We want to meet a lot of people to let their prejudge that the Deaf cannot communicate removed. And also we want all the participants, Deaf or hearing, share happy memories of the summer".

The purpose of the trip is to promote understanding to the problems widely so that the Deaf who heavily rely on sign language and note taking, etc. may participate positively in the society.

The group will leave Kobe on August 10, and visits Osaka City Office and Kyoto City Office, etc. on foot. And then, they continue hitchhiking with the aim at Tokyo, where they will arrive on August 28.

On the way to Tokyo, the volunteers who assist the conversation also join. Futsal with hearing people who put on the earplug, and a "party", etc. that use the whiteboard are also planned.

Moreover, the group turns round the administrative bodies and the schools for the Deaf in various places, and investigate the actual condition of service to the Deaf provided by each municipality.

The Disability Independence Support Law requires the municipality to provide services to support the Deaf individual. The standard of such services as interpreting and note taking provided by varies in different municipalities.

Therefore, the goal of hitchhiking is to visit the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to make the request based on the result of the survey obtained through the activity, and to correct the local service differences, etc.

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