70% of Deaf persons rely on relatives for help at the time of a disaster

November 16, 2014

The Great Hanshin Earthquake in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, will be the 20th anniversary in January, next year.

The Prefectural Association of the Deaf carried out the questionnaire in 2013 to verify the environment which surrounds the Deaf after the earthquake disaster and services by welfare administration.

An interview by visit was held to 1,115 Deaf persons and families. The question (multiple answers) to the Deaf person which asked about "persons who can be relied on at emergency, such as a disaster", 653 persons (73.5%) answered it as "the family or the relative".

Next  226 Deaf persons (25.5%) responded as the neighbors, followed by the answer by 65 Deaf persons (7.3%) as personnel of the welfare office or  public office.

The actual condition that Deaf persons tend to be isolated in the area was also clarified by the  investigation: a half of the Deaf respondents answered that they felt anxious about the access to disaster information or evacuation.
The association chairman says, "Although it will be the 20th year since the last earthquake disaster in the prefecture, the social welfare for the Deaf persons is not progressing that much as we have expected."

Japanese source:

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