Deaf woman wins her first council election in Akashi-shi

April 27, 2015   
Yanetani Atsuko appeals through 
interpreting by her daughter.

Akashi-shi, Hyogo Prefecture:

Yanetani Atsuko, 55, a Deaf-born woman and a board member of the Akashi Deaf Society, has won her first election by the Akashi city council election which counted the votes on April 26.

Yanetani commented signing enthusiastically, "I'd like to aim at the city where everyone lives comfortably regardless of disabilities.

After graduating from the Hyogo Prefectural Kobe School for the Deaf (present Kobe Special Support School for the Deaf) at Kobe-shi in the prefecture, she worked at a factory in Akashi-shi. When volunteering after the Great Hanshin Earthquake hit the prefecture in 1995, she felt that support to the victims with disability was insufficient, and so she joined the Akashi Deaf Society's secretariat and began support activity for people with disability. Since 2007 she serves as an advisor for persons with disabilities in the city.

Yanetani decided to run for a city council election because she wanted to get involved in administration as a councilor on behalf of the disability community. She gave a speech in front of the station by sign-language interpreted by her daughters and supporters in the election race. While 37 people ran to fixed number 30, she was elected ranked as the 18th.

Akashi-shi has carried out the "Sign Language Regulation" this April. Yanetani was on the study committee related to the regulation establishment.

As sign-language interpretation at a council meeting becomes indispensable, the city council secretariat will consult with  Yanetani about necessary support.

Japanese sources:

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