Signed DVD to be produced on Deaf experience during the earthquake and evacuation

A Deaf man tells his disaster experience
in front of the camera.

The year, 2010, is the turning point of 15 years since the last earthquake in Kobe City and Awajishima, Hyogo prefecture. It is also a time to speak up the problems the Deaf people had faced.

The Hyogo Prefectural Information Center for the Deaf is producing DVD in caption and JSL, titled "Deaf experiences in the Earthquake as record", to introduce the testimony of the Deaf persons struck by the Great Hanshin Earthquake .

DVD, which is planned to be completed in March, tells that the spoken or audio information does not help the Deaf victims who mainly depend on visual information in the critical situation.

Ten members have started telling their story since December at the center. Each signed for about 15 minutes in front of the camera.

Tadahisa Kagotani (61), a company employee, spoke the trouble in the evacuation life. "I did not understand the announcement for the time of the meal distribution, so I stood in a row in the tail and often missed my meal".

Taeko Yamamura (75) did not noticed the evacuation order when there was a possibility of the explosion in the gasholder nearby immediately after the earthquake.

"When my husband and I were in the car, we noticed a lot of people moved past quickly the outside. I finally understood only after one of my neighbors wrote a word, "Tank" on ground by the stone and made a gesture meaning something explosive.

Taeko says, "After all, there was no explosion and we were relieved. I did not quite understand the spoken evacuation order".

Sueko Iwao (76) talked about the difficulties in the temporary shelter where she lived after the earthquake. The neighbors stormed in when she was watching TV late at night. "The volume of TV was the maximum before I knew". Also they warned about the noisy sound of the washing machine, and so the stress built up in her.

Masanori Kada, the director of the center, points out, "Textual information is indispensable for the Deaf".

Hyogo Prefecture Office and the Center have been providing the Deaf community with the emergency information on availability of the interpreting service, etc through the free "Hyogo Disaster Prevention Net" e-mail since April, 2005, which 477 Deaf persons have registered so far.

Japanese source:

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