Deaf woman rejected for sign language interpreting to file a suit against city office

February 28, 2012

IKEGAWA Yoko (40), a Deaf office worker living in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, filed a suit for compensatory damages against the Takamatsu City Office at the Takamatsu District Court on February 28. The city did not approve her request for the sign-language interpreter dispatch to the outskirts of the city, which she says their act infringes Article 21 of the Constitution that guarantees the right to know, etc. She asks for  about 110,000 yen as compensation.

Although the revised Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law which includes expansion of the information means for the persons with disabilities, such as sign language, was enforced in August, 2011, the city did not revise its guideline to dispatch the sign-language interpreter only in the city as a principle. Yoko's lawsuit will question about the city system.

She decided to attend the guardian briefing session of the vocational school in Tokyo where her eldest hearing daughter (18) wished to enter in June, 2011, Yoko applied for dispatch of sign-language interpreting to the city. However, based on the dispatch guideline, the city declined her application.  

So she covered the expense of 5140 yen at her own cost and participated in the guardian briefing session in Tokyo.

The city officials suppose that sign-language interpreting dispatch must be restricted in the city except "the case which the mayor admits being required especially", such as entrance and a graduation ceremony, a PTA meeting, educational consultation, etc." out of the city.

Yoko, whose daughter will attend the vocational school this spring, said, "I was judged by the city that the guardian briefing session was unimportant."

She said in anger, "My desire for doing everything such as child-rearing, education, etc. like ordinary parents has been trampled down."

"I had the only way that I had to find what the vocational school is like directly, because I am always concerned with my daughter's future. So I decided 
to file a lawsuit  against the city for the future of the Deaf people who would benefit by such a sign language interpreting service."

Japanese original article: 

Related link: 
Deaf woman appeals due to application for sign language service rejected

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