Situation of Interpreting service provided in stricken area

April 4, 2011

The number of the Deaf people carrying the physical disability certificate is about 19,000 in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures in total according to the prefectures.

As of April 3, 31 Deaf persons are living in at least 19 refuges in Miyagi prefecture according to the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, etc. Many of about 60 interpreters are also struck in the prefecture and only about five interpreters are working.

Based on such a situation, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has requested each administrative division to dispatch the interpreters. Iwate Prefecture Disability Welfare Section will send the volunteers on April 11, saying "We will adjust it so that the interpreters are placed in a place to meet the needs of the Deaf".

JFD's East Japan Deaf Relief HQ has sent four interpreters to Miyagi Prefecture in the end of March. It is also requesting the administration to install the TV equipment by which watching sign language and the caption becomes possible for the Deaf in the refuge.

The Deaf married couple from Miyagi prefecture say that their arm were pulled suddenly by their neighbor after the earthquake occurred. When they all reached to the top of the hill and turned around, they only learned that the tsunami surged up.

It has been pointed out that Deaf persons knew about the tsunami considerably afterwards. There might have been Deaf persons who had been rolled by the tsunami without noticing it, too.

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