About group activity on arts and sign language

March, 2013

The environment in which the Deaf/deaf persons enjoy "arts" is not apparently enough. Because the Deaf/deaf person can see, it seems that special consideration is unnecessary. However, many inconvenience and disadvantages exist for them in fact. For example, it is not only few sign language interpreters who have the knowledge of arts, but also very difficult for the Deaf/deaf visitor to understand even what is interpreted because of a lot of fingerspelling used.

Moreover, there are more problems such as purchasing a admission ticket does not go smoothly, an earphone guide is not available for the Deaf/deaf visitor. A fact was pointed out that the needs of Deaf visitors are not met generally in an art museum.

Except a very few art museums, there is no program or accommodations for the Deaf/deaf person to appreciate the art works. Those who were interested in these issues gathered at a meeting sponsored by Able Art Japan in February 2011, argued freely, and shared the opinions. Since then the group, called the Group for Arts and Sign Language that supports the Deaf/deaf visitors to appreciate arts, started activities in order to change the situation.

In order to tackle the clarified issues, a new project was begun in January, 2012 and lasted until December, 2012. There were two pillars of the project. One is to make an arts appreciation program required when the Deaf/deaf persons visit an art museum, and another is to make sign language for the term related to arts as an experiment.

On the second one, the group members, curators and sign language interpreters worked on a development of sign language related to arts and selected about eighty glossaries. They can be seen on the following link (Japanese):

Japanese source:

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