Event: Social participation of the Deaf to expand through interpreting service in Kansai region

September 24, 2011

The three-day meeting to discuss social participation of the Deaf started in Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo Prefecture on September 23.

About 35 Deaf persons and interpreting volunteers in total participated on that day. The Deaf participants discussed the frustrating experience and the opinion, such as  "We don't understand what the guide explains and hardly enjoy visiting at a tourist spot", etc.

The event was organized by the Deaf Independent Living Center (LIC), which was formed in June, 2010. They have requested the towns and cities to expand the system to support independence of the Deaf, and offers programs such as training the computer-aided real-time captioner.

Social participation of the Deaf has been possible only by sign language or writing. According to LIC, whether the interpreter dispatch service is available to a medical institution, ceremonial occasions, a fellowship party and social activities varies with cities, towns and villages.

NISHIMURA Yushi (22), a Deaf LIC member, said, "I want the municipals to expand the range of the interpreter dispatch service to qualification acquisition, the leisure activities, etc. in addition to medical institutions and ceremonial occasions, etc.

On September 24, the second day of the event, the Deaf participants will visit the theme park "Universal Studios Japan" (USJ) in Osaka with interpreters and experience
how much they can enjoy the trip with more information input through interpreting.

On the last day, September 25, the Deaf participants will make a street speech about their new experience with social interpreting in front of Sannomiya Station in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture.

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