Shiga Prefecture ends interpreter dispatch to stricken area in East Japan

Poster announcement on the start of the service by Shiga Prefecture interpreters to support the Deaf victims in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture.

May 31, 2011

The Shiga Prefecture ended the interpreter dispatch project on May 31 that supported the Deaf victims stricken with the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The prefecture alternatively sent three interpreters in total to Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture since May 18 upon the request of the municipality in the stricken area where no interpreters are not placed.

They put a hand-written poster near the main entrance in the city office that notified the establishment of service and called for use. They also visited the home of the Deaf victim. They accepted 30 requests from the Deaf victims regarding the issue procedure in the application for the temporary shelter, residence affliction certificates, etc., and also helped the transportation of the rescue supply, etc.

TABUCHI Chieko (49), one of the interpreters from Shiga, stayed in Natori City on May 18-21. She said, "Some Deaf persons who have a limited writing skill, so they faced the difficulty in conveying what they desired."

A Deaf senor came to the city hall to apply for the temporary shelter because he lost the house by the tsunami. He told Tabuchi he wanted to live next to the elder brother, which she forwarded to the person in charge of the administration.

Natori City has not yet provided the interpreting service to about 100 Deaf residents whose primary language is JSL (Japanese Sign Language). It is reported that the interpreter dispatch from Shiga was highly evaluated by not only the Deaf but also the city.

Tabuchi spoke, "I have realized again the importance of interpreter. Taking the opportunity of the earthquake, I hope more cities would set up the interpreting service."

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