Two years after Tottori-ken Sign Language Regulation enacted

October 1, 2015   
Ishibashi Daigo interviewed

Tottori Prefcture: 

It will be the second anniversary of  the "Tottori-ken Sign Language Regulation" on October 11,  which places sign language as a language and plans for its spread is carried out in the prefecture for the first time nationwide.

Ishibashi Daigo, 42, the Prefecture Deaf Association Secretary-general, explains the current state of the regulation and the problems.

 - What changed after two years?

A movement of legal establishment for sign language was spread in the whole country starting from Tottori, and a similar regulation was made in 20 autonomous bodies already across Japan. In the prefecture, for example, when Deaf persons enter a store for shopping, they are greeted by sign language. Deaf persons also come to use sign language openly in the public.

 - How about schools on sign language learning? 

There are active schools certainly, but there are differences in the consciousness by schools in the towns and villages. Any elementary and junior high school that introduce a sign language lesson develop understanding to a Deaf person. The City School Board should re-recognize the role set as the regulation and introduce sign language education as a part of an integrated study.

 - Any problems in understanding spread?

As one of the problems, a hearing relative doesn't like an interpreter in a discussion of inheritance that forces a Deaf kin out. There is a case that a medical treatment isn't explained clearly to a Deaf patient at a hospital. Old Deaf persons even hide sign language from the public because of oralism in those old days. It's necessary to support the Deaf persons living isolated in the area, too.

 - It should not be supposed to bring to an end by a transient move.

The prefecture, hearing residents, Deaf persons and a business establishment have to keep consciousness and continue a rise respectively. The establishment of a sign language law is also important finally. We want hearing people to understand Deaf persons have a culture and a language of their own.


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