Emergency drill at Deaf school: communication issue pointed out

Deaf student (right) tells the teacher
who interprets for a medical staff (left)
(photo: www.asahi.com)

There was an emergency drill at the Kagoshima Prefecture School for the Deaf in Kagoshima City on September 9.

About 190 people from ten groups, including the City Fire Prevention and Control Department and the Deaf school, participated. This time, it was the first drill with the use of writing and interpreting.

It was assumed that the carbon monoxide was generated from the cooking room. Participating were 35 pupils and students from elementary through high school levels .

Out of them 5 students acted as if injured and received "Triage" that applied the priority level of the relief and treatment from medic's disaster medical assistance team (DMAT). Team members confirmed the injury situation by writing while using the questionnaire prepared beforehand. Communications were tried with the help from teachers who interpreted.

One of the high school students who acted as injured said uneasily, "Communication will be one-sided if any Deaf student lacks the skill to tell what is wrong, and it will look like him/her as seriously injured".

A doctor who was on DMAT pointed out the communication issue, saying, "There is something not understood how much different it is between the two parties; Deaf and hearing. We are afraid we likely not to catch up on an actual situation if writing were used".

Source in Japanese:

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