"Sign language ordinance" to be first discussed in Hyogo Prefecture

July 1, 2014

Sasayama-shi, Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan made the policy to  enact the "sign language ordinance" which aims at realization of the community in which a Deaf person lives at ease.

The ordinance examination committee consisted of experts, Deaf persons, and sign language interpreters was launched on May 28.

In view of the ordinance already enacted in some places across Japan, it is clearly defined that "sign language is language," and that the duty and the role of a self-governing body and residents about the spread of "sign language.

It may mean that it is almost certain to include contents aiming at "realizing the community where Deaf persons and persons who are not Deaf can live together."

First, about a phrase "sign language is language," it puts on the first revised Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law to accept the language nature of sign language, and, probably, is defined also for each ordinance.

Next, a share and acquisition of a communication tool are fundamentally meant about "symbiosis of a Deaf person and the  person who are not Deaf." If a Deaf person has been forced to learn by the oral method, this means that the "Deaf person" is forced to use the communication tool of "non-Deaf persons."

However, the ordinances by self-government bodies and the revised Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law do not take such an attitude, but ask for the Government and the self-government body to take the measure towards enhancement of the environment which sign language can be used easily and the spread of sign language.

From a viewpoint of the local residents, it means making an effort that "non-Deaf persons" compromise to "Deaf persons" to communicate with each other.

"The respect for an individual" defined in the "Article 13 of Constitution  means accepting people as they are. It puts in another way; it is preparing various choices in society with cost. Especially a physical disability certainly appears at a fixed rate, and it can be said that the cost for equalizing is a suitable burden on society.

Probably, the sign language ordinance that asks "non-Deaf persons" for only a few burden and consideration should be evaluated as it follows the idea of the constitution fundamentally in that sense.

Japanese source:

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