July 11th 2018
SHIZUOKA — The Shizuoka association of the deaf has received an apology from the board of education of Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, after a lodging facility owned by the education board refused in January a request to accommodate a group of about 100 hearing-impaired persons on the grounds that their safety could not be guaranteed, it has been learned from the association and other sources.
Discrimination based on disability is banned by a law that took effect in 2016. The law also states that reasonable consideration should be given according to the level of disability.
The board of education also told the association that staff at the facility were unaware of the law and should not have refused the request.
According to the association, the facility is named Himenosawa Shizen no Ie. A youth group of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, to which the Shizuoka association belongs, planned to hold a training camp at the facility. The association contacted it to report that all the lodgers would be hearing-impaired. However, the facility refused their request.
As a result, it was decided to use another private lodging facility for the camp.
The association said it was unhappy that the facility refused its request immediately without asking the group what support it needed or working to meet them halfway.
The facility is operated by the city’s public promotion corporation.
“The facility is aged, so we were concerned we might be unable to guide [them] in emergencies. We didn’t intend to discriminate against them,” said its director.