Participants in the sign language course
The "volunteering sign language interpreter course" intended for the new comers started on May 18 in the healthy welfare hall in Misato City, Saitama Prefecture next to Tokyo.
This course includes an introductory part and a basic part in the sign language textbook commonly used in the whole country. It will continue until March next year. The first two-hour class welcomed 31 hearing people including five men in 20 capacity.
Two Deaf persons including Hiroko Suzuki, a president of the Misato City Association of the Deaf were the lecturers with the city hall staff as an interpreter.
At the beginning of the class, the lecturers explained to the new students, "Pointing with the finger at someone may be rude to hearing persons, but it is natural for the Deaf. We hope you will become used to Deaf culture".