Local assemblies submit written opinion on sign language as "language"

February 03, 2014

There is a move grown in local assemblies and self-governing bodies all over Japan that ask for improvement of the educational environment to master sign language, etc.

According to the Japanese Federation of the Deaf based in Tokyo, 32 local assemblies in ten prefectures, such as Osaka, Tokyo and Ishikawa (as of January 21), are asking the Government for adoption of a "sign language bill" by written opinion.

In Tottori Prefecture, and Ishikari-shi, Hokkaido, the original ordinance which regards sign language as "language" was enacted.

According to the special-support-education division of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the national guidelines for teaching defines sign language to be regarded as the communication means on a par with a sound or a character of Japanese language. The spread of the sign language among schools for the Deaf is progressing now, yet sign language is not made a requirement.

The Japanese sign language bill which the Japanese Federation of the Deaf created is proposed as follows.

1. let sign language be required subject in special support school for the Deaf.

2. the opportunity for a Deaf child and a Deaf person to receive education by sign language should be secured.

3. the Government and the local self-governing body should take measures to make information dissemination accessible to the Deaf through sign language, etc. 

Japanese source:

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