October 9, 2015
Reportedly there are about 10,000 Deaf/deaf persons in Japan. Currently only Nippon Foundation has offered them a telephone service experimentally.
The non-profit organization, inc. called Information Gap Buster (IGB) in Yokohama-shi was established for the purpose of achieving the abundant society without "information gap" in 2011.
Ito Yoshihiro who started IGB is a deaf person himself. He got a job in a general enterprise after graduating from university. He was able to get the chance to play an active part through cooperation of his colleagues in a workplace, such as starting a new business.
IGB is appealing an online signature aiming at getting "the telephone relay service" free for Deaf/deaf people as public service, a target for about 1,000,000 signatures.
They collect signatures by March, 2016 and appeal to the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications and communication firms on the importance of telephone relay service for the Deaf community.
Ito comments on the importance of such a service, asking for cooperation from the public, "First we want people to know that it isn't proper that everyone is able to call. We ask you all to help us make it proper."