Deaf organization submits signature to improve interpreting service restricted by independence support law

The "communications support service" that provides the interpreting service has been conduced by municipalities since 2006 due to the Disability Independence Support Law enforcement. It was previously executed by prefecture administrations. Ever since then, the low quality of service and the difference of service among the municipalities have been pointed out.

While the Takamatsu City office has not been possible to offer the service to send interpreters or note-takers at an urgent time on holiday and nighttime, the Kagawa Prefecture Association of the Deaf submitted the signature of about 11,600 people to the city for the improvement.

They requested that the service should not be limited to the city, but to the domestic whole area, an interpreting service should be available at the weekend and nighttime due to sudden illness, etc.

Before the law enforcement in 2006, the Kagawa Prefecture Welfare Center, which the interpreting service was consigned by the prefecture, has met the urgent needs of interpreting at nighttime and holiday.

However, the group trusted by the city does not allocate the staff at the weekend and nighttime. Moreover, the city authority limits the district to the city region based on the guideline of the communication support service, except when the mayor approves the request for a medical check, a job interview, etc.

Masahiro Hayashi, the president of the Association points out that the limitation of service targets increased.

He says, "Even if we sponsors the study meeting concerning the pension system or the lifestyle diseases such as diabetics, we request for the interpreting service, and they refuses it saying that it was not at all related to the city event".

According to the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, the quality decrease in similar service is noticed in Hokkaido and Nagasaki Prefectures. There is a municipality that demands the consumer, who asks for the service, to pay 10 percent of the cost, too.

Mitsuji Hisamatsu, the manager of the Federation headquarters in Tokyo, says "Not only the Deaf but also the hearing benefit from the communications support service. It should be guaranteed as a basic right".

On the other hand, Takamatsu City officials say, "We hope we have the opportunity to discuss while paying attention to how the law will be applied".

Source in Japanese:

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