Graduate school to cater deaf and blind next spring

Tsukuba University of Technology, located in Ibaraki Prefecture, will start the graduate program for the Deaf and blind students, respectively, in April, 2010.

Official website (English version):

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Disaster drill: Help hard of hearing by writing when verbal communication difficult

Exhibited are pamphlets on the communication
for hard of hearing during the disaster

The prefecture disaster drill took place in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture, a central part of Japan, on October 25. The prefecture association of note-takers (19 groups) participated for the first time, setting up a booth in the hall to spread information on assistance measures for the hard of hearing at the disaster.

The association staff explained: the hard of hearing who don't obtain information in the emergency are often at risk in the dangerous area. They emphasizes, "Even if you don't have any special skills, the pad and pen can save a live".

Examples are given; those who lost hearing because of the sickness, the accident, and aging, etc. would not know the situation as they did not hear a disaster prevention radio, etc. during the heavy rain. They might go to see the river to check, and only to find themselves at risk or missed the shelter. In the shelter they would be puzzled, too, about the meal as they are be informed of when meal is served .

The prefecture crisis management department said that it would study to execute training that a hearing person writes and passes the information on disaster to the hard of hearing person in the coming year.

Tomomi Yamaguchi, a representative from the association, explained, "If hard of hearing persons know what to do, they can do at once by themselves. I want you to remember that there is an option; writing a note if the verbal communication is difficult".

Source in Japanese:

Deaf Italian film maker to lecture about his film making at Osaka in November

The Kansai Japanese Sign Language Society located at Kwansei Gakuin University will sponsor the lecture meeting on Sunday, November 8, 13:00-14:30 at the University Osaka Umeda campus.

Emilio Insorer, a Deaf film maker who is getting into the news in Japan, will lecture about the Deaf film. He will talk about his desire for the movie, the chance to become a film maker and his current activities.

Emilio was born to the Italian father and Argentine mother in Buenos Aires City in Argentina. The parents are also Deaf.

His family and he migrated to Italy at the age of 11. He completed the bachelor course in film making at Gallaudet University in 2003. He gained the master's degree in multi communications at the Rome graduate school in Italy in 2007. Ever since, he has involved in the production of the magazine in New York and Italy, etc. as the freelance photographer and the coordinator. He currently lives in Osaka, working on the movie.
(English, Japanese, Italian)

Source in Japanese:
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Special ticket for "The Miracle Worker" to offer Deaf community in the fall

TV Asahi and Hori Productions will produce the play of the timeless masterpiece, "The Miracle Worker", acted by a group of notable professionals in Tokyo this fall for the first time since three years ago.

The magnetic loop is set up in the hall to support with the hearing aid.

In addition, a small caption system to attach the seat is lent out by the following schedules.

Wednesday, October 28, 13:00/18:30
Thursday, October 29, 13:00
Thursday, November 5, 13:00/18:30

The discounted tickets are on sale for Deaf and HoH spectators.

Source in Japanese:
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Open House held at Special Support School for the Deaf in Miyazaki Prefecture

An Open House took place on October 19 at the Nobeoka Special Support School for the Deaf in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, located in the southern island of Japan, for the purpose to raise awareness on Deaf education.

The school with 15 Deaf and HoH children enrolled has an aim to be open to the local community. Head teacher Yasuo Saito says, "We are trying to keep contact with the local community, and to expand the circle of support".

Seven people, including the local residents, experts from the child care centers and the kindergartens etc., observed some of the children practice a play in sign language prior to the planned cultural festival, some work on arithmetic lessons and the Japanese language, etc. for about two and a half hours.

Source in Japanese:

Circle members learn JSL at school for the Deaf in Hokkaido

Hearing persons learn JSL weekly
in the tatami-mat room at the School for the Deaf

A JSL circle, called "Nozomi", has held the JSL class since about 15 years ago at the Hakodate School for the Deaf in Hakodate City, Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan.

Thirteen hearing people including the parents of Deaf children are learning JSL from Deaf persons once a week.

Akira Shimazu, principal of the school, says, "Even there is no Deaf persons around you, you make the best use of sign language when working as a volunteer, etc. I encourage any local residents to readily participate in the JSL class".

The circle was formed by the people who completed the sign language course offered by PTA and the city. Three Deaf persons alternatively serve as the lecturer, and teach JSL vocabulary and conversation with the theme such as "Numbers" and "Greetings", etc. every time.

The classroom on the campus is a Japanese-style room with a space of extent with which over ten students sit around a table. They feel comfortable with one another and easy to question because of the homey atmosphere.

One of the circle members having the Deaf child explained, "It is easy to misunderstand when the oral method is used, but after I learned JSL, it became less misunderstanding. We are enjoying the signed communication".

Source in Japanese:

City hall staff trained in sign language to improve the service in Kushiro City, Hokkaido

The sign language training for the staff in charge of the over-the-counter service in the Kushiro City hall started on October 14.

It is the first attempt for the city, located in the northern island of Japan, aiming that the staff works for better service to Deaf consumers when they come to the city hall.

The city has allocated the interpreters in the main government building, the Kushiro City welfare center for persons with disabilities, and the City Hospital.

The "sign language training" was added to the enforcement project of the staff training this year for the effective communication with the Deaf consumers for the better service.

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Meeting on Deaf Sports to be held at Tokyo in October

A group called the "Deaf Sports Network" will hold the first information exchange meeting at the Tsukuba University Tokyo campus at 13:00-16:00, Saturday, October 24.

1) Greeting
Chikara Oikawa, professor of Tsukuba University of Technology

2) Lecture
Mayumi Saito, instructor of Tsukuba University
Theme: "Deaflympic Games 2009 from a hearing viewpoint"

3) Information Exchange

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More colleges/universities admit students with disabilities, including Deaf

More universities, junior colleges, and technical colleges, etc. accept the students with disabilities.

There were 6,235 students last year, according to an independent administrative agency, called the "Japanese Student Support Agency", located in Yokohama City. It was ever the largest number of the students since the fiscal year 2005 when the survey on the number of students had been started.

Out of 1,218 schools that responded the survey last year, 719 accepted the students who have the disability such as visual impairment, deaf, speech disorder, physically handicapped, and developmental disorders, etc.

The number of schools that have provided support services such as note taking and the braille system, etc., was 543, more 58 schools than in the fiscal year 2007.

Officials of the special support section in the Japanese Student Support Agency" said, "The academic environment which offers accessibility to the students with disabilities is developing. We will support the schools from every aspect".

Source in Japanese:

H1N1 flu rages across Japan, forcing schools to close temporarily; Deaf must use fax before seeing doctor

New influenza, called H1N1 flu (or sometimes called swine flu) is raging now across the country.

Also in Nara Prefecture, the total number of elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools which have temporarily closed the classes on the suspicion of the group infection is 50 as of October 13.

The prefecture official is asking the flu-infected patients to go directly to the medical institution and to consult a physician.

However, it is necessary for the infected patient to contact the medical institution by calling phone beforehand without fail so as not to infect the patients with other sicknesses.

The hospital makes preparations to receive the infected patient. He is to be instructed to use an entrance different from a general patient, or to stand by in the car in the parking lot.

For Deaf persons who cannot call the doctor, if there is a usual method for contacting the primary care physician such as the fax etc., he must use it.

The newly established influenza emergency center in the prefecture, which the fax has been prepared, may adjust with the medical institutions or relay to them.

Though the center accepts e-mail massages for those who don't have the fax, the fax is given priority as a principle. When e-mail cannot be used, the prefecture also is examining communication. However, they are not prepared for the situation at present yet.

People get infected if the flu is in the large scale. It is necessary for the prefecture officials to cooperate with the Disability Welfare Division in order to do something to meet the needy such as to lent the fax.

Source in Japanese:

Deaf runner continues to challenge

Hisashi Nagai talks
with the interpreter after the finish

The Apple Marathon was held in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture on October 4, 2009 where Hisashi Nagai (53), a Deaf company employee from Shizuoka Prefecture, participated first time.

In the 20 kilo-run for men over the age of 50, he missed the victory, finishing in the 3rd place.

He earnestly said, "I survived because the interpreter was provided here. I want to challenge a full marathon again when there is a chance". He has sent a letter to the mayor requesting for an interpreter prior to the event.

He has run since the high school days. He has experienced to stand in the top as the winner at each of the half marathon event in all of the 47 prefectures in the country.

He had continued to win the championship at the half marathon or the 12 kilo-run each held in Ishikawa, Gunma, and Niigata Prefectures straight for three weeks before the Apple marathon.

Hisashi told the reporter through the interpreter, "I started the marathon to call for social participation of the persons with disabilities. Other persons with disability did run here, too, which indeed encouraged me".

Source in Japanese:

Two Deaf schools in Toyama Prefecture to be changed next spring

According to the School Education Law revision, the name and a part of the educational target for the special support schools in Toyama Prefecture, a northwestern part of Japan, will be changed next April.

At the high school level, Toyama support school for students with visually impairment (presently the school for the blind) will enroll eight students in weak condition in addition to the visually impaired students.

The school for the Deaf, located respectively in Toyama City and Takaoka City, will set up a new course called the welfare and service course (eight students admitted) and recruit students with mental disability. Both the school will change the name to the support school for the Deaf next spring, too.

The application form will be received February 24-26, 2010. The entrance exam is scheduled for two days on March 10-11. The result of the examination is to be announced on March 17, 2010.

Source in Japanese:

Regular meeting for JSL teachers scheduled for October in Tokyo

The Specified Nonprofit Activities Organization, the Center for JSL Teachers will hold the 3rd regular meeting in Tokyo on the afternoon of October 17, 2009.

The meeting aims at offering the JSL instructors and concerned individuals the opportunity to check how to teach JSL in order to work better.

The general theme will be: "Think about the culture. "

Report 1
"Deaf infants and their sign language from the viewpoint of language acquisition"

Report 2
"Differences between Deaf culture and hearing culture" (short play form)

Report 3
"Life in cross culture: acceptance and living together that arise from culture shock"

Report 4
"Indirect introduction of Deaf culture in sign language teaching"

No spoken interpreting will be provided.

Source in Japanese:
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Website introduces sign languages in Asia

The Research Section of Foreign Sign Language in the Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, located in Kyoto City, has its own website.

It includes sign languages in Asia in English: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Mongolia.

It will be updated monthly with three new words in the sign language of each country.

National Deaf Rubber-Ball Baseball Championships to be held in Hiroshima Prefecture in October

The Hiroshima Tatsurose teammates
ready for the practice match
in Higashi-hiroshima City.

The 34th National Deaf Rubber-Ball Baseball Championships will be held on the stadium and other places in Higashi-hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture on October 10-11, 2009.

The National Rubber-Ball Baseball Federation of the Deaf Adults hosts the event, sponsored by the Yomiuri Shimbun Osaka Headquarters.

Holding the event in the prefecture is the first time, and about 420 players from 24 teams who have won the preliminary game of the six districts across the nation will compete for the championship.

The teammates of the "Hiroshima Tatsurose" team who will participate representing Hiroshima Prefecture are enthusiastic, "We want to win the championship absolutely as a home team".

The Tatsurose was formed as the only Deaf team in the Chugoku region, a part of western Japan, 35 years ago. They have joined in a row for a decade, and this will be the 19th participation in the event.

They won the championship in 2001, and also the second place three times. However, the team lost in the second round last year. Ever since they have worked hard at the practice for one year.

The teammates always unite in the circle before every game, pushing up their three fingers, which means "harmony" in JSL to indicate the harmony of the team is important. All the teammates will stand in the ground of the national athletic event with the desire to win.

Source in Japanese:

Deaf drum performance scheduled for November in Tokyo

The Deaf Japanese drum clubs across the country will get together to perform at Fuchu City, Tokyo on November 21, 2009.

They have the slogan:

"Echo the sound of drum
far away up
for tomorrow;
Let our excitement touch you all!!

We Deaf drummers,
Let us yell,
grasping the drumstick
to play!"

The sponsor is the Japanese Deaf Drummer Group.

Source in Japanese:
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National Deaf school track & field event held in Kyoto City

Track & field team members at Kyoto Prefecture School for the Deaf pose to show happiness for local holding after an interval of 40 years. (photo:

The 46th National Deaf School Track & Field Meet was held in Kyoto City for two days from October 3.

It was first time in 40 years since the last meet held in Kyoto.

At the meet entered by 246 deaf high school students from the 46 schools across the country. They competed for the best result in the track field event.

Sources in Japanese:

Famed Deaf artist's works exhibited in Kobe City

Works of Isao Nishimura on the display

A retrospective exhibition of the famed Deaf artist, Isao Nishimura (1923-2003) who loved Paris is open at the Mori Art Gallery in Himeji-shi during October 3-17.

At the gallery, 33 western paintings are exhibited: the woman waiting for a train on Metro platform, the man enjoying a masterpiece at an art museum, the dressmaker walking by his legs wide apart, etc.

Isao used the technique that he painted repeatedly and then shove off the color. These works give you a feeling of the depth and the warmth in the people painted in a humorous way.

Isao lost hearing because of tympanitis (inflammation of the middle ear) when he was 3 years old. He graduated from the imperial college of fine arts (present Musashino Art University), and worked as a professional artist.

He, a resident of Kobe, visited Europe first in 1970. Since then he was fascinated by the landscape of Paris. He won the Yasui prize, one of the most prestige awards for paintings in 1965, and the Kobe Shimbun peace prize in 1995.

On October 10 in the afternoon, Yasutoshi, Isao's the eldest son, will give a speech on his father.

Source in Japanese:

Clinic staff communicate with Deaf patients in JSL in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Dr. Hajime Miyasato (40) (right) asks
the Deaf patient (left) in sign language,
"Do you have a pain in your knee?".

Sign language is used to give Deaf patients the medical examination at the "Miyasato clinic" in Yamaguchi-ken.

When a Deaf person visits a hospital or clinic, he/she often usually asks to dispatch an interpreter or a note taker through the communication support project provided by the Persons with Disabilities Independence Support Law.

But at the Miyasato Clinic, the 8 full-time staffs including the doctor, nurses and reception clerks sign to some extent, making an effort toward communication with a Deaf patient.

Dr. Hajime Miyasato(40) said that he would like to work on the medical examination and treatment with the use of JSL to make a Deaf person feel comfortable at his clinic.

He had once met a Deaf person who was unable to write and read at the hospital. This occasion has motivated him to learn JSL.

He says, "Often Deaf patients visit this clinic nowadays, which has caused my staff to learn JSL more." The clinic continues to study JSL with members of the Deaf community.

"I'm happy that I can use JSL with the Doctor." One of the Deaf patients (65) said, smiling satisfactory. "I don't understand the technical things, but even when there is no interpreter available, I can see the doctor by myself. Even if I fell into bad condition suddenly, I can take the medical examination without waiting for the interpreter, so I'm relieved".

Source in Japanese: