District court recognizes impossibility to sign due to accident as "speech disorder"

Kimie Oya attends the press conference after the lawsuit settlement. By the traffic accident, the left wrist is impossible to move smoothly and the little finger of the left hand, also, impossible to be bend easily, which has caused her stress when signing. (photo: www.tokyo-np.co.jp)

Kimie Oya, a sixties Deaf woman, a resident in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, a central part of Japan, sued against the hearing man, claiming that she had been unable to sign as fluently as before due to the traffic accident since five years ago. She asked for about 26.2 million yen for the compensation.

On November 25, the Nagoya district court judge ordered the man to pay about 12.2 million yen for the linguistic damage, stating as "sign language was a means of communication", and treating as the residual disability to the language activity corresponded.

According to Hiroyuki Tahara, the lawyer representing Oya, "the decision that admits the residual disability of the signing function of the Deaf person as equal as the able-bodied person's speech disorder would be first in the country".

In the future it may influence the weight of the sequel that other person with disability owed due to the accident to be judged. The disability community welcome the new move.

Source in Japanese:

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