Barrier Free Deaf Disability Hearing Impaired Japan

Japanese convenience store Lawson to introduce ‘pointing sheet’ to aid deaf and hearing impaired

From August 30th, Lawson will install a pointing sheet at the checkout counters at all stores so that people with hearing disabilities can shop with peace of mind. It is said that this is because the staff members have also started wearing masks due to the corona crisis, making it difficult to understand what they are saying by looking at their mouths.

From The Asahi Shimbun via Yahoo! Japan

August 29 2022

From August 30th, Lawson will install a pointing sheet at the checkout counters at all stores so that people with hearing disabilities can shop with peace of mind. It is said that this is because the staff members have also started wearing masks due to the corona crisis, making it difficult to understand what they are saying by looking at their mouths.

The sheet displays words and illustrations such as “I will buy a plastic bag” and “Please heat it up (in the microwave).” You can also ask for a spoon or fork by pointing. It also has an “ear mark” to show consideration for people with hearing disabilities.

The person who proposed the introduction was a female employee with a hearing impairment. After wearing a mask became a regular practice, he often encountered situations where deaf people couldn’t understand the questions asked by shop assistants.

The company that received the proposal asked store owners and part-time workers for their opinions and narrowed down the types of confirmations required when shopping.

Through public relations, the employee who made the proposal commented, “I would be very happy if as many people as possible, including people with normal hearing, recognized it.” The company also said, “We want to create an environment where people with hearing impairments can shop comfortably.”

Similar initiatives have been introduced at some retail stores, but according to the company, this is the first convenience store chain nationwide.

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