Broadcast via NHK’s educational channel, the deaf interpreters, for whom sign language is their first language, were able to convey more detailed and nuanced coverage of the Olympic closing ceremony and Paralympic opening ceremony by communicating information provided to them by signers who can hear.
A 13-year-old junior high school girl with a hearing impairment in Kitakyushu City was mistakenly diagnosed with intellectual disability in her childhood without undergoing proper examination at the Municipal General Rehabilitation Center, and it took about seven and a half years until she was actually found to be deaf.
After a hearing-impaired person infected with the new corona virus was refused the use of accommodation facilities because it was difficult to communicate by telephone, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has issued a notice to local governments asking them to introduce remote sign language interpretation and written communication so that people with hearing disabilities infected with the new coronavirus can use facilities.
A deaf man, 33, living in Nagoya City, who was infected with the new coronavirus and requested hotel treatment, was rejected by Aichi Prefecture, saying it was difficult for him to communicate by telephone. The ‘All Japan Federation of the Deaf’ submitted a request for improvement to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the ministry will consider asking local governments not to exclude hearing-impaired people from hotel treatment.
As the new coronavirus spreads, a group of people concerned in Nagoya city, say “We have collected the real voices of people with hearing disabilities in the coronavirus disaster.” Wearing masks and other measures to prevent infection seem to be detrimental to the communication of deaf and deaf-blind people, who read words from the movement of their mouths and the shape of their fingers.
Liberal Democratic Party member Eriko Imai asked questions in sign language at Japan’s upper house plenary session on the 30th. According to the House of Councilors Secretariat, this is the first question in sign language at the House of Councilors plenary session.
As a preventive measure against the new coronavirus infection, Kyoto Prefecture introduced a service from the June 9 that allows people with hearing impairments to use sign language interpreters remotely using smartphones or tablet terminals.