Lecture meeting on sign-language interpreting activities in the stricken area

(photo: http://inamai.com/news.php?c=kyofuku&i=201109101931290000044211)


It will be six months on September 11 since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit Northeastern Japan on March 11.

The lecture meeting by the sign language interpreter who worked in the stricken area of the Great East Japan earthquake was held in Nagano Prefecture on September 10.

It was sponsored by five organizations including the local Deaf society, and about 50 persons attended it.

The lecturer was YAMADA Yoshiko, a full-time sign language interpreter for the Matsumoto Health Welfare Office in the prefecture. She was dispatched to Natori-shi, Miyagi Prefecture for five days from April 23-27, and interviewed the Deaf victims about a health condition, the situation of the house, etc.

She told a story about a Deaf victim who had usually associated with the neighbors, but no one informed him/her of tsunami coming. Yoshiko pointed out, "The big problem is that information was not accessible to the Deaf victims. They got a greater mental damage caused by the earthquake disaster than any hearing victims. They mentally need to be cared".

Also she said, "Since information has failed to reach the Deaf, and because of privacy issues,  some of the Deaf victims were unable to live in the shelter and had moved to their house or to stay with an acquaintance somewhere else".

Yoshiko concluded, "I want you to seriously consider this situation. Such facilities must make all the disabled persons feel satisfied although we often hear the word "welfare shelter".

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