Deaf group points out "mistakes" in sign language CM of Tottori Prefecture

 January 7, 2014

It turned out on January 6 that a part of sign language in the TV commercial, in which Tottori Prefecture advertises establishment of the sign language ordinance, was pointed out as "mistaken" by the Deaf organization, etc.

The prefecture has left sign language instruction and recording to the production company, and did not even recognize any mistake with the check before televising.

CM, which was broadcast by three commercial broadcasting companies a total of 108 times,  36 times respectively, on December 3-9, last year, can be browsed by the prefectural official website, and it is being examined whether the prefecture adds notes or cancels public presentation.

CM production cost was 7,900,000 yen containing the expense of the DVD creation for education. The prefecture office was entrusted to the production company at Yonago-shi in the prefecture through the competition. A former sign language interpreter was requested by the company to teach language to an actress Matsumoto Wakana.

When the prefectural person in charge checked the CM recording at the end of November and didn't notice any mistakes in sign language.

Japanese source:

Related link:
Tottori Prefecture broadcasts CM related to its sign language ordinance

Sign language circle adviser makes the collection of signed dialects in Fukui Prefecture

Fukushima Koichi demonstrates the hand-made collection of sign language which introduces about 3,500 words.

January 6, 2014

Fukushima Koichi (福島幸一), 63, the adviser of the Takefu sign language circle called "Cogwheels", has strived for the spread of sign language over many years in Echizen-shi, Fukui Prefecture.

He made the dialect collection (A4 size; about 1,000 pages) with illustrations of about 3,500 words of sign language in three years.

There is not only the nationally standard expression but dialects only in the rural area in sign language. The expression unique to the district, such as the name of a place and food, is also recorded. A local expression is also incorporated to use in daily conversation efficiently.

Sign language spread within the prefecture by the interpreter training program for the Fukui National Athletic Meet in 1968. Fukushima joined the Takefu sign language circle established immediately after the National Athletic Meet 45 years ago.

He has put power into spread of sign language such as he influenced the formation of a sign language circle or study group in various places, founded the prefectural sign language circle liaison council.

Fukushima began to develop the collection of sign language after he turned 60 to realize his thought: "The society that every one communicates by sign language freely always anywhere."

Japanese source:

National Convention for the Deafblind to take place at Kobe in August

Imagawa (left) tells the ambition for a national convention through finger Braille interpreting.

January 1, 2014

The 23rd National Convention for the DeafBlind will be held for the first time in Hyogo Prefecture near Kyoto this summer.

It will take place in the Kobe International Conference Center Hall, etc. at Kobe-shi in the prefecture for four days from August 1.

About 1,000 people including the Deafblind, their families, interpreters, and care takers will share information and discuss the state of welfare.

The non-profit organization called "The Hyogo Group of the DeafBlind and their Friends" based in the city that will plan and manage the event is currently appealing for participation of the party concerned or a volunteer.

According to the prefecture's 2009-11 investigation, 639 Deafblind persons have received the disability handbook in the prefecture. It is estimated to be 1,000 if those who do not have the handbook were included.

Imagawa Yuko (今川裕子), chairman of the board of directors of the group, is also Deafblind herself , saying, "The Deafblind have many difficulties with "a place where they go out. I want many people to know a Deafblind person's existence and the activity by holding a national convention in the prefecture."

Japanese source:

Symposium on sign language ordinance held in Saitama Prefecture

Ishikari-shi Mayor Taoka Katsusuke gives a remark (center) 
while Tottori Prefecture Governor Hirai Shinji listens (right).

December 26, 2013
On December 24, the Saitama Association of the Deaf held the symposium on sign language ordinance in the Saitama Hall in Saitama-shi in the prefecture next to Tokyo, and about 940 persons, including Deaf persons, persons with disability, administration and persons interested in sign language, participated.

Tottori Prefecture Governor Hirai Shinji said in a lecture, "The most important thing is that one concerned raises voice and moves forward."

Koide Shinichiro (小出真一郎), chairman of the board of directors of the prefecture association of the Deaf gave various examples related to a Deaf person, and claimed that sign language is the power itself which is useful for a Deaf person.

Saitama Prefecture Governor Ueda Seiji (上田清司) introduced himself by sign language, and also said, "I hope this symposium will offer a good opportunity to expand greatly the common view that sign language is language."

Japanese sources:

Ishikari-shi: Second sign language ordinance to be established in Japan

December 15, 2013

Sign language is regarded as "language" and "the basic ordinance on sign language" of Ishikari-shi, Hokkaido in Japan's northern island where citizens aim at easy-to-use environmental development for sign language will be established on December 16.

The same ordinance is the second example across Japan after Tottori Prefecture, and is the first at the level of cities, towns and villages.

Sugimoto Goro (杉本五郎), 66, an Ishikari Association of the Deaf president, served the investigative commission of ordinance establishment. He was glad about the process, saying,  "Until now generally it is not recognized sign language is language. The first one step will be to enhance an understanding of sign language."

"I can talk with a friend." It was the school for the Deaf where he was transferred when he was a sixth grader. Until then there was almost no conversation with a classmate in the hearing school, and at the school for the Deaf he felt his world was open suddenly, imitating a friend signing and learning sign language at the same time.

However, at that time the Deaf students were educated orally. It was that the use of sign language came to be accepted in schools for the Deaf all over Japan about a decade years ago.

Ishikari-shi started preparation of ordinance establishment taking advantage of the "Hokkaido-Island Convention of the Deaf" having been held last year.

The investigative commission by nine members, consisting Deaf persons, including Sugimoto, and specialists, has been held since May. Although the meeting was scheduled four times at the beginning, the argument became so hot that it held 7 times through October.

What was repeated especially in the argument was whom the "ordinance would be for. The opinion succeeded one another such as "the hearing family with the Deaf person, the hearing person who studies sign language to be also included", although it was considered as the "Deaf person," etc. at the beginning. It was decided finally on "the citizen using sign language" to reference for advice of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf.

The ordinance requires the city to make sign language easy-to-use environment for every citizen as well as it defines that the city may strive for promotion of sign language education and fiscal measures as city duty.

Moreover, in consideration of the hard of hearing person who don't sign, the proposal was made also that the city secures a note taking service as one of social welfare services".

Sugimoto said that there are some persons who are narrowly expected to use sign language in public even now, or encounter refusal of admittance in an employment test for reasons of being Deaf.

He wishes saying, "Sign language is important for us. I want the world where it is natural to use sign language taking advantage of the ordinance."

Japanese source:

Tottori Prefecture starts video remote interpreting service

The Deaf person and the prefectural personnel (left) communicate through video remote interpreting service.

December 25, 2013

Tottori Prefecture started the video remote interpreting service with the use of the tablet computer on December 24.

Even if a Deaf person does not accompany a sign language interpreter at the time of going out, it becomes easy for him/her to communicate with a hearing person at a restaurant, government and municipal offices, etc.

According to the prefecture officials, it is the first in Japan that a Deaf person walks around with a tablet using the video remote interpreting in various scenes.

The tablet computer is arranged also at the prefectural office window.

Seventeen Deaf persons have registered as a monitor for the service.

Takatsuka Chiharu (高塚千春), 38, a secretariat staff of the Tottori Prefecture League of Organizations of the Deaf, stated, "Though the service may be easy to use compared with written communication, it may be difficult, since it will take a time to get used to communicate on the display. I believe it is effective at the window, and is convenient with a tablet in a station or other public institutions."

Japanese source: