Deaf residents demand more sign language interpreters in Okinawa Prefecture

August 18, 2012

There is only one communication support member (sign language volunteer) who is in charge of services for the Deaf residents in the Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa Prefecture in the southern island of Japan.

Abut ten members from the Ishigaki Society of the Deaf met with the mayor and asked more persons to meet the needs of the local Deaf community on August 17.

They explained, "It is impossible that the Deaf client asks for advice if there is only one staff presently in the office and when she is absent."

As some of the Deaf old people also live alone, three more workers responsible for interpreting, visiting and counseling, respectively, needed.

The mayor answered that the city financial adjustment would be also necessary and that he would try to meet their request.

At the request, it became clear that the emergency information service at the time of a disaster, etc. was not well known to the local Deaf community, either.

The city also conveyed the intention to hold a briefing session on the service for the Society members immediately.

Japanese original article:

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