April 23, 2013
Tottori Prefecture held the first meeting of a study group of specialists in connection with the welfare and education of the Deaf on April 22 towards establishment of the first "sign language language ordinance" (tentative name) in the whole country.
Deaf persons also joined and exchanged opinions about the present condition and issues through the sign language interpreters.
The study group consists of about 20 persons representing the Deaf community, respectively: Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JFD) in Tokyo, the Prefecture League of Organizations of the Deaf (PLOD), and the Prefecture Council of Sign Language Circles.
There was explanation about the history that the Deaf were not allowed to use sign language at schools.
A JFD representative pointed out, "Since training for a sign language lecturer is not enough, it is an issue common to the whole country that neither those who study sign language, nor sign language interpreters increase in number."
The PLOD director said, "when Deaf persons are not able to convey what they think, they cannot make a living in society. If sign language were accepted as a language, there will be more understanding of the Deaf."
The prefecture officials, aiming at the establishment within the current fiscal year, will hold a next meeting in June and examine how to incorporate the result of the meetings into the draft ordinance.