Sign language net media on disaster-related information

2011.4.7.

Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake including persons with disabilities also are vulnerable in getting information necessary for the emergency.

Media such as twitter, video, etc. on the Internet positively are used to support Deaf people who tend to be isolated as sign language is not commonly used in the greater part of refuges.

After the earthquake, a Deaf man EZOE Satoshi (24) was requested by the Deaf victims in the refuges to provide them with the vital information such as evacuation, food rations, radioactive terms, etc.

To answer the requests, he recruited the cooperators on the net. About 30 people volunteered and checked the question one by one, and made a video to answer in the sign language.

The video was contributed by the "DNN (Deaf News Network: http://tubetw.it/list/266387661)" through "YouTube" site one by one. About 350 videos in total from March 14 through early April were introduced. The number of viewers including from the cellular phones users has gone up to 136,000. The survivors have appreciated the support.

Ezoe says, "The first language of Deaf people is sign language, and they don't fully understand what the caption says on the TV. I have realized how much they are hungry for information in the earthquake-hit area".

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