March 13, 2015
The draft of the prefecture sign language ordinance which aims at the spread of sign language was approved by an unanimous vote at the Prefecture Assembly in Gunma Prefecture next to Tokyo on March 12. It is third following Tottori and Kanagawa among the 47 prefectures.
The ordinance requests the prefecture to cooperate with the towns and villages in the prefecture and to make an effort toward the spread of sign language and environmental improvement. Also educational environmental improvement for sign language at school, signing skills improvement of teaching staffs and a learning opportunity of sign language to offer Deaf students and their guardians are set.
About 120 Deaf people and their families from the prefecture inside and outside thronged to a seat for the public in the Assembly, clapping up when the draft was approved.
Hayakawa Kenichi, chief director of the Prefecture Federation of the Deaf stated at a press conference, "We were very happy. We'd like to get information like any hearing person and grow from now on".