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".