Only policewoman fluent in sign language to hold traffic safety class in Ishikawa Prefecture

Omote Yoko san shows off using the sign language.

February 10, 2013

Omote Yoko san, 55, is the only  traffic warden who can teach a traffic safety class in sign language in Ishikawa Prefecture. She works in the police station in Kanazawa-shi.

When she was organizing crowds at the National Sports Meet of  Persons with Disabilities in the prefecture in 1991, she was not able to communicate properly with the Deaf visitors.

Omote san started attending sign language training sessions for the police, continuing hard practice with TV sign language programs, books, courses, etc.

In the spring of 2008, a traffic safety class in sign language was held for the first time in the Prefecture School for the Deaf. Since then Omote san opens the class before the spring excursion every year.

Omote san says, "The Deaf children 'heard' me while looking hard at me signing."

There are few opportunities for her to use sign language, but sometimes she communicates with deaf people who visit the station. She says yet, "If I have a chance, I would like to sign more in my future work."

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