September 13, 2011
The Nippon Foundation, located in Minato-ku, Tokyo, opened the "remote information and communication support center" in its building on September 11. The service will be offered to the Deaf disaster victims through the video relay free of charge so that they can communicate to get necessary information quickly.
As for the number of the Deaf persons who carry the disability card in three prefectures: 5,391 in Iwate, 6,130 in Miyagi, and 7,761 in Fukushima as of the 2010 fiscal year.
The Deaf person cannot get information through audio announcements easily and also cannot use the telephone. So it is hard for them to get relief goods or they may be delayed in the application of a makeshift house. From now on, there may be more problem in getting a disaster certificate and job-hunting activities.
Although there are about 80 qualified sign language interpreters in these disaster-stricken prefectures, they are the victims as well, unable to give sufficient support to the Deaf victims beside the stricken area being wide and large. So The Nippon Foundation decided to establish the support center.
The remote interpreting service is available for the Deaf victim who carries the disability card for free. Open 8:00-20:00 everyday for a year. Registration is required.
The Nippon Foundation official site (English):