Deaf couple confronted by police search without interpreting in Aichi Prefecture

Note written by the police agent to communicate with the Deaf couple. (photo:

Four agents from the Aichi Prefecture Police suddenly visited the house of the Deaf married couple in Aichi Prefecture this May, and the search warrant of the suspicion of the Stimulants Control Law violation against the husband was presented.

The agents did not bring the sign language interpreter, and searched the house, rejecting the couple's request for interpreting and communicating only by writing for three and a half hours.

The result of husband's urine test was negative, and there was no doubt of the stimulant use.

The Aichi Prefecture Association of the Deaf asked the investigating authority on July 27 for improvement so that they should treat the Deaf equally with hearing persons. They continued to point out, saying when the police's action greatly went off the spirit of the global convention that requests "reasonable accommodation", though there was no illegality in the house search according to the Criminal Procedures Law this time.

The Criminal Procedures Law does not require the police agent to go with the interpreter for the house search.

The lack of an ideal way of the investigation for the Deaf also was pointed out while the lay judge system has started and "reasonable accommodation" for the persons with disability advanced at the public trial.

Sign language cafe in Kobe City getting popular by word of mouth

Guests are enjoying talking in sign language or tactile communication at the "Sign Language Cafe". (photo:

A coffee house, called the "Sign Language Cafe", opened in July four years ago. It is always crowded with people, both Deaf and hearing; they enjoy talking in sign language and/or writing.

A citizen group in Kobe City, called "Hyogo Deaf Net" has opened the cafe shop on the third Wednesday every month in the shopping street in Nada Ward, Kobe City.

It gets into the news by word of mouth, visited by around 50-60 guests a day from across the country.

About 15 staff who are fluent in sign language are working alternatively.

Opening time: 11:30-20:00
Menu: curried rice (500 yen), cake with drink (500 yen), beer (450 yen), etc.

Deaf woman making debut as professional boxer after defeating hearing opponent

Keiko Ogasawara won the professional game with a knockout. (photo:

"The four-round professional boxing game for girls" was held at Kourakuen Hall in Tokyo on July 27.

Keiko Ogasawara (30), a born-Deaf woman, defeated Ikue Murase with one knockout for only 54 seconds, making her debut as professional boxer.

She has started playing boxing for the purpose of a diet since ten years ago, and passed the protest in April this year.

Keiko said with a smile, "I am most happy to win the round today. Goal? Of course I want to become a champion".

Hiroshima City sign language circles explaining devastation caused by the atomic bomb in sign language as part of peace program

Members of the sign language circles explain the stone monument of the devastated town in Peace Memorial Park. (photo:

The Hiroshima City sign language circle assembly consisted of seven circles visited the atomic bomb memorial cenotaph in Peace Memorial Park on July 24 as a peace study program. Over 100 people including about 20 Deaf persons participated.

While they visited the sculpture of a child by the atomic bomb, the bell of peace, etc., each circle member who has studied these origins, explained in sign language in turn.

Members of the sign language circle called "Minami" performed a skit in front of the stone monument of the devastated town and explained, "The town we are standing here vanished suddenly at once".

Yutaka Yokomichi (66), a member of the sign language circle "Minami" as well as one of the radiation victims, first participated this time. He said, "From now on I will tell about what I saw in the hell when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima City, my painful memories, etc. in sign language".

Sign language training course starting in Okinawa Prefecture

Twenty persons participate in the sign language training course. (photo:

The sign language volunteer service training course started at the City Health Welfare Center on July 24, sponsored by the Ishigaki City Social Welfare Council in Okinawa Prefecture.

Twenty citizens currently attend the course, learning basic sign language on Monday every week until October 24.

The opening ceremony took place at 13:00, July 24. Chairman Kawahira of the council greeted to the participants, saying "The number of sign language service staff is limited. We would like you to learn the sign language and support Deaf persons".

Each member of the Okinawa Prefecture Society of the Deaf and the Ishigaki Deaf Club was introduced as a lecturer. They encouraged the new students to study until the last time to support the Deaf community as a sign language interpreter.

Three city workers, including a temporary employment, also attend the course. One of them, who has worked for the disability welfare section since April this year, has felt strongly the necessity of sign language when talking with a Deaf client. "Writing with each other takes time. I want to communicate in sign language".

Course for parents with Deaf children to be held in Tokyo

The Bilingual Bicultural Education Center for the Deaf Children (BBED) will hold the course for parents who have the Deaf/hoh young children at Tokyo in July and September.

1st lesson: 7/21 (Wednesday)
Topic: "The structure of ear and hearing"
Lecturer: Dr. Misato Tanaka, Teikyo University professors emeritus
Target: Parents of infants

2nd: 7/26 (Monday)
Topic: "Happy bringing up of a Deaf baby"
Lecturer: Midori Okamoto,
president of the National Association of the Parents with Deaf Children
Target: Parents with infant or baby

3rd: 9/2 (Thursday)
Topic: "How will it happen if the Deaf child is raised in sign language?"
Lecturer: Michiko Hasebe, Vice principal of Meisei Gakuen, a private school for the Deaf
Target: Parents with infant or baby

4th: 9/8 (Wednesday)
Topic: "My experience with the hearing parents who brought me up"
Lecturer: Akiko Ikeda, preschool teacher of Meisei Gakuen
Target: Parents with infant or baby

5th: 9/13 (Monday)
Topic: "Deaf persons who actively participate in society."
Lecturer: Hiroshi Tamon, Deaf lawyer
Target: Parents with infant, baby or young child

6th: 9/22 (Wednesday)
Topic: Meeting one another with parents with Deaf infant/children
Target: Parents with infant or baby

The duration of a lesson will be 10:15-11:45. An application for only one lesson will be accepted.

Registration fee for each lesson:
1000 yen for member
500 yen for non-member

Official website (in Japanese):

First lecture meeting to exchange information on academic programs and college life to be held at Tokyo in August

Chuo School for the Deaf, one of the public schools for the Deaf in Tokyo, will hold the first lecture meeting to exchange information on academic programs and college life for Deaf students on August 30, 2010, 13:00-17:00

Deaf students will talk on their experience at their institutions of higher education. The participants will learn better what preparation is needed before admission, etc.

The Deaf students aspiring to enter college, the school personnel, and the parents or guardians are welcome to participate in the academic event.

"What you can study: courses; how to study at college/university, entrance examination, etc."

Plenary meeting: Introducing courses

- For high school senior, how to perform during interview with the college personnel.
- For 9-11th graders, trial entrance examination, learning how to study effectively.

Twitter service used as instant note-taking on web for the Deaf

How the twitter service to provide the Deaf with information is shown.

Currently if textual information is shown in the event site, etc. for the Deaf and hard of hearing, a few caption providers work in cooperation to input audio/vocal information to the computer with special software, which is projected onto the screen.

Naoyuki Mori (29), a company employee and volunteer for the Deaf community in Sizuoka Prefecture, came up with idea that Twitter is used as a means to throw textual information to the Deaf instantaneously, and developed the program to tweet on the computer.

He noticed the mechanism of Twitter that can in real time send the brief message, and installed the program to tweet automatically in the existing software for caption.

The caption provider uses the specified Twitter account for captioning beforehand by using the software.

After the captioning staffs confirm the designed account, they tweet one after another as they hear at an event.

The Deaf user follows the specified Twitter with the cellular phone, etc. There is no need to make a special setting.

Because the twitter does not rely on the distance to tweet to many people simultaneously, it is possible to use the Twitter service like the announcement in the sports event.

Even, with the organizer's permission, the Deaf users use the twitter service sitting on any seat in the lecture meeting, the play, etc. they can get back previous information unlike the screen where the textual information is updated one after another.

It was actually demonstrated at the national convention for note-takers and caption providers held in Hiroshima Prefecture on July 11.

Japanese finger spelling application for iPhone developed

Deaf Japan, located in Osaka, has developed the application of the Japanese finger spelling for iPhone users.

You can learn the finger spelling easily to express and reading while playing.

You also can express various words such as the names of the places, the stations, shops, and countries with the use of the finger spelling.

You also can talk with the Deaf and/or the person who knows JSL if you understand the finger spelling.

Not only the finger spelling but also the application program for the JSL in animation will be being developed in the future.

IPhone, iPad, iTouch, and iOS4.0 or more


National Deaf cycling society to be established in Japan

No Deaf cyclists have participated in the Deaflympic Games yet, though there are several cyclists.

The national society will be formed so that the Deaf cyclists may participate in the future Deaflympic Games, and to prepare the better training environment.

The special general meeting will be held in the Tokyo Welfare Center for the Disabled on August 29, ,2010 Sunday, 13:00-17:00.

- Briefing on the Japanese Deaf Cycling Association
- Annual membership fee
- Application

- Official election, etc.

The World Deaf Cycling Championship will take place at Montreal, Canada in June, 2011.

Sign language story to be presented in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture

August 15th is the war memorial day in Japan.

Prior to the day, a Deaf actor, Akihiro Yonaiyama will tell the sadness and fear of the war in sign language.

Date and time: Sunday, August 1, 2010, 13:30-15:30

Place: Nagoya City Federation of Disability Welfare Center in Nagoya City

Theme: "Hiroshima"

Admission fee: 1000 yen
Capacity: 100 people (first come, first served)

※ No spoken interpreting provided.

Real-time caption system used for questioning Deaf woman in district court in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture

There was a public trial of the lawsuit brought up by a Deaf woman (63), a Kobe City resident, to request the disposal cancellation from the government in the Kobe district court on July 6.

She has appealed that it was unjustified not to be able to get the disability basic pension because the degree of her hearing loss had not been proven at the age of 20.

The real-time caption system was first used to question the woman, who is Deaf since infancy, in the court. Because it is common that interpreting is provided to the Deaf, this case was exceptional.

Her hearing parents had forbidden her to use sign language as they were worried about discrimination, and she doesn't understand sign language well according to the lawyer representing her.

After the public trial, the woman spoke, "Up to today, I have been sad not to understand the communication in the trial, but I was happy that I was able to answer the questioning".

Hard of hearing manager working for the last summer in high school baseball tournament

Rinako Suto (18) works as the scorer in the bench at the
Tokushima Prefecture High School Baseball Tournament.

Rinako Suto, a high school senior who attends the Tokushima Prefecture Myozai High School, lost hearing in the left ear all of sudden this February. It was diagnosed a sudden deafness caused by the stress.

Rinako can hear with the right ear, but when something is asked by a baseball team member, it is not easy to catch it. She was worried and in the end proposed to leave the baseball club, saying, "The trouble may hung to the team". However, the coach encouraged and told her, "Do your best until the tournament is over this summer. We will be happy to cooperate with you".

Members are willing to tell aloud many times until Rinako gets it and help her with the chore, too. She thinks, "It would be a good chance to continue to the last game", as she became accustomed to the inconvenient way of life. The doctor has told her there would be a possibility of recovering.

This day the team won the first match, and Rinako said to Kohei Kume, a second baseman, "Congratulations!". She has made up her mind to support the team to win through to the National tournament, called "Koshien", scheduled for August.

Local city office information in sign language on website

Sign language news shown on homepage of
Azumino City, Nagano Prefecture.

Azumino City in Nagano Prefecture has launched the "Sign Language News" on its official website and "YouTube" in July. It was proposed by Keiko Fukai (46), an interpreter who works for the social welfare section in the office.

Some information selected from the paper arranged by the Public Affairs section is signed and videoed to be published in the web.

Such an information notification has not been heard in any municipalities in the prefecture according to the Nagano Prefecture Disability Support Section.

Signed information will be updated once every two weeks, for about one minute signed by Keiko. It is captioned, too.

Public Affairs section officials hope that the signed information will help the Deaf community aware of their service.

Interpreter hired to help the Deaf communicate with staff at city office in Aichi Prefecture

Kazuko Kitamura (right) helps the Deaf customer in sign language at the city office. (photo:

Toyokawa City in Aichi Prefecture has hired a part-time interpreter since July. It aims to enhance communications among the Deaf clients and the city office staff.

When Deaf person visited the city office for procedures or counseling, the city staff had used to sign at a basic level, or communicate in writing.

The assembly approved the budget for an interpreting service this March. The recruitment of a part-time interpreter started soon. In May there were four applicants, and one of them, Kazuko Kitamura (48), was chosen after the examination.

She has a born-Deaf second daughter (22), who motivated her to learn sign language for communication. She has been active as a registered interpreter at her hometown as well.

Kitamura works for the the social welfare section in the city office from Monday until Friday. Not only the section, she accompanies the Deaf client to any section necessary in the office. Moreover, she works as a coordinator for sending the registered interpreters upon the request in the city.

Kitamura said, "The place where the interpreter is available is still limited. I will do my best to help to make a more friendly society to the Deaf community".

Deaf painter donating oil painting to city office in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Takeshi Yamane (70) , well known as "the Deaf Painter" in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture donated an oil painting that depicted the Tokiwa Park to the city on July 2.

Takeshi was born Deaf, graduated from the school for the Deaf and worked at the signboard shop, etc. in the city. When he was 28 years old, he wanted to make the best use of the technique of paint mixtures and the painting of the signboard, starting the painting shop with his younger brother.

However, his brother and friend who helped manage the shop passed away soon, which forced the shop to be closed at the age of 31. Since then he has worked hard every day at production of the oil paintings since the age .

The donated painting, which took three years to complete, shows the peaceful scene that people in the park enjoy every moment in front of the pelican island. Takeshi says, "I want to make it to help the park advertise that everyone surely cannot miss it".

Basic English class for the Deaf to start in September at Tokyo

A new basic English class will be held in evening so that one can learn English on the way back from the school or the work.

September 9, 2010 - February 24, 2011; Two lessons every month (2nd and 4th Thursdays) . There will be all 12 lessons.

Time: 19:00 - 21:00

Information and Culture Center for the Deaf in Tokyo

Ms. Ami Mori
(BA from Waseda University /Deaf, part-time lecturer for Tsukuba University of Technology)

Deaf or hard of hearing persons who live in Tokyo and are fluent sign language can sign up for the class before the middle of August.

Capacity: 20 students

Admission free except the cost of textbooks

Summer sports event for the Deaf held in Hokkaido early July

The 43rd Hokkaido Summer Sports Meet for the Deaf started in Kushiro City, Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, on July 3. It was the 4th time to be held since 17 years ago. About 520 people in all, including about 260 athletes, participated from around in Hokkaido.

Hideo Kakizaki, the president of the Hokkaido Federation of the Deaf, greeted at the opening ceremony and said, "We want everyone to show the best and to make the event a good one". Yohei Kashiwagi from Kushiro City made a powerful pledge for fair play.

For 2 days until July 4th, 6 sport items were played with vigor; bowling, gate ball, badminton, futsal, soft volleyball and park golf.

Hard of hearing group holding session on funeral in Wakayama Prefecture

The Wakayama Prefecture Association of the Deafened and Hard of Hearing invited the undertaker to its regular meeting held in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture. About 30 members who attended asked him about cost and a prior preparation for the funeral.

The session was arranged because the majority of the members were old and it would be a good chance for them to ask someone a lot of doubts regarding the funeral.

The questions from the members were as follows.
- Is it necessary to offer the fee to the temple besides the funeral cost?
- Is there any way to make cost cheap?
- Is it possible for me to decide the content of my funeral when alive?

The undertaker advised as follows.
- The amount of the payout to the temple is not certain, and the offering is also different according to the temples.
- You consult in advance and tell the budget to two or more funeral parlors by telephone.
- You leave the content of the funeral in advance in the written form, etc. and then tell the family or a relative.

Speech by parliament candidates interpreted for Deaf community in Fukuoka Prefecture

While the woman sees the TV monitor (center) which broadcasts a Fukuoka electoral district candidate's speech for the House of Councilors election, and interprets it at the same time, it is recorded by the video camera (left) in a multipurpose studio of the Fukuoka Prefecture Association of the Deaf.

This is a project that has been carried out for over ten years. "No mistake; Be comprehensible." To do this, the interpreter concentrates all nerves.

Interpreting and video recording of seven candidates who are running for the Fukuoka electoral district took two days. The recorded video will be screened for the Deaf community in communal facilities in 20 places in the prefecture on July 6-10.

The regulations of the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has banned a political speech by only one candidate to be interpreted.

The secretary-general of the Prefecture Association says, "If the speech of the political runner were interpreted or captioned, we Deaf people would see on the TV at home."

"The Deaf community desires to know what each candidate stands for through the speech, so it is necessary to provide information before voting."

The National election is scheduled for July 11.

Sign language circle holding workshop for new members in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture

Deaf persons told about their life at the workshop held by the Ina sign language circle. (photo:

The sign language circle in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture in the central part of Japan, held an annual workshop for the new members in the village hall on June 27.

The purpose of the workshop was to learn a life story of Deaf persons, deepen understanding about the Deaf community and make the best use of the workshop to their future activity.

About 50 new and regular circle members and members of the Ina Deaf Society in total gathered at the workshop.

Four Deaf persons presented a speech on their hardships in life. One of them told: when he took his sick daughter to the hospital, the doctor did not give him an enough explanation.

Another Deaf man said; as he could make a phone, even if there was something in the emergency, he was not able to report at once.

However, the last Deaf woman concluded: "I feel that I was very lucky because I grow up as a Deaf person. So I want every one to understand the Deaf way of life."

First Deaf soccer league held in Otaru, Hokkaido

Deaf soccer players play aggressively at the first Deaf soccer league in Otaru. (photo:

The first Hokkaido Summer Soccer League for the Deaf was opened at the Hokkaido High School for the Deaf located in Otaru City on June 27 to enhance the local soccer activities.

The three teams of 50 members in total, consisted of adults, high school students and alumni, participated in the soccer event, and played aggressively basking in sunlight.

The Deaf soccer population in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan is on the decrease according to the Hokkaido Deaf Soccer Society though there are no exact statistics. The reason for the decrease might be that the Deaf youth tend to move out of the city to get a job in a populous city.

Takashi Sato from Chitose City, the president of the Japanese Soccer Society for the Deaf, said, "A large crowd of spectators will be encouraging." Another event may be planned in the future.

Deaf student to encourage hearing teams at opening ceremony in local high school baseball games in Fukuoka Prefecture

Kohei Fujita will give his message to hearing baseball teams in sign language in opening ceremony. (photo:

The 92nd National High School Baseball Championship Fukuoka preliminary Game, sponsored by the Prefecture High School Baseball League, etc. starts on July 3.

In the opening ceremony, Kohei Fujita (17) plans to present an encouraging message to the hearing high school base ball teams in sign language. He is a senior of Fukuoka Special Support High School for the Deaf located in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture in the southern island of Japan. He is also the captain of the rubber-ball baseball team at the school.

This event has been arranged every year since 10 years ago to not only encourage the baseball teams, but also to let them know lot of people gather to stand by them. The high school student from top class such as a member in the calligraphy club, a girl baseball team manager, a long-distance relay runner, and so on has presented encouraging words in the opening ceremony of the preliminary game.

It will be the first time that the Deaf student sends encouraging words. Kohei said, "I will speak slowly and sign clearly."

He once participated as a relief pitcher in the National High School Rubber-ball Baseball Championship Local game in summer two years ago, and his team won for the first time in the 20-year history of the baseball club. He and with his team will again participate in the prefecture game scheduled for July 18.