Tottori Prefecture enacts the first sign language ordinance in Japan

Deaf people and supporters in the gallery wait for the moment of approval of the sign language ordinance at the Tottori prefectural assembly while being given to explanation with sign language.

October 08, 2013

The "sign language ordinance" of Tottori Prefecture to advance spread of  sign language as a language was approved unanimously at the prefectural assembly on October 8.

The ordinance positions the information dissemination in sign language, securing of sign language interpreters, etc. as a prefectural role, and aims at the creation of environment in which a Deaf person lives easily.

Such an ordinance comes out for the first time in Japan, and will be enforced soon. (on October 11th according to other Japanese sources)

The new ordinance of Tottori Prefecture defines sign language as "the cultural product which has an original language system," and determines that the prefecture and munincipls have a duty to strive for the spread of sign language and to promote an understanding among the people in the prefecture.

It is specified in the ordinance that entrepreneurs strive for the environmental management which Deaf workers are able to work without any difficulty, schools for Deaf children must raise a school staff's technique so that the children can learn sign language and study in the language, etc.

Penal regulations are not established by the aim to which participation of the people of the prefecture is urged.

In Japan, Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law was revised in 2011, and a section about  "language (sign language is included)" was incorporated in the article. However, since it has not got into a concrete measure, the call for the environmental management which spreads sign language is going up from the Deaf community.

The prefectural assembly also approved on the day of the supplementary budget of the current fiscal year which incorporated a total of about 22 million yen for expense of a model project of remote sign-language interpreting service using a tablet computer, the sign language lecture for the people of the prefecture, etc.

Japanese source:

English articles:
Tottori Pref. passes ordinance recognizing sign language
Tottori champions sign language

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