Service facility for Deaf in Shiga Prefecture trains the world's first dogs for DeafBlind

Masaya Okada, a DeafBlind man (left), practices
walking with the dog as his trainer watches them.

The service facility for the Deaf, located in Moriyama City, Shiga Prefecture near Kyoto, has trained dogs as "assistant dogs for DeafBlind persons" since April, 2009.

The dog training began when a DeafBlind man, Masaya Okada (44) who needs assistance from his family and others when going out, said that he has wanted to walk around freely with the dog.

There are 1000 or more dogs for the visually impaired and 19 hearing dogs for the Deaf in the whole country according to the result of the investigation in August, 2009 by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. They said that such a case in Shiga Prefecture may be the first example in the world.

There are about 22,000 DeafBlind persons in Japan.

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