Junior high school student passes first-level sign language proficiency test as youngest

Nozawa talks with mother in sign language.

January 29, 2015

Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken:

Recently, Nozawa Kazuki (野澤一樹), 15, a senior of Okamura Junior High School in Yokohama-shi near Tokyo passed the first level in the 9th National Sign Language Proficiency Certificate Examination  sponsorship by the social welfare corporation National Sign Language Training Center, as the youngest in Japan.

When he was a third grader, Nozawa participated in an experience classroom for children by the sign language club of which his mother was a member. He began to learn sign language thereafter.  

As he wanted to communicate with a Deaf person even more, he challenged the fifth (beginning) level of the sign language proficiency certificate examination for the first time in the next year. He has passed every level of the examination, and finally reached the top proficiency level in October, 2014.

The Training Center consisted of the Deaf persons whose natural language is sign language holds the examination every year. The first (top) level requires the understanding of the Deaf community's living, the legal system, etc. and the signing skills by written and performance tests.

Nozawa said: "I would like to use my experience in learning sign language to spread sign language and help to reduce discrimination and a prejudice against a Deaf person".

Japanese source:

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