National meeting on deaf education emphasizes the importance of sign language again

August 5, 2012

On August 4, the 24th National Discussion Meeting on Deaf Education" was held in Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, and about 400 persons from schools for the Deaf, etc. participated.

Nishitaki Norihiko, director of the non-profit organization "The National Conference to Consider Deaf Education" which sponsored the meeting, said in his keynote report concerning sign language, "Deaf education accomplished a  historical step forward."

The sign language has been accepted as a language by the revised Article 3 in Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law which was enforced in 2011.

The next speaker was Tanaka Shinya, the ex president and a board member of the Japanese Association for Language Policy.  He gave a lecture and emphasized, "Even if secured legally, you have to assert the necessity and importance of sign language."

He also proposed the following actions:
- installation of "a special area for the sign language,"
- introduction of sign language in the foreign language course of universities/colleges,
- mandating of establishment of sign language interpreting services at medical institutions, etc.

Japanese original article:

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