The Summer Deaflympics, an international sporting event for the hearing impaired, will be held in Tokyo in 2025. This is the first time Japan will host the Deaflympics, and follows Tokyo’s hosting of the Paralympics in 2021, another major international sporting event for the disabled.
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.
Legislation is expected to be passed in the current parliamentary session to support persons with disabilities to obtain the same information they need in their daily lives and during disasters as able-bodied persons, with the aim of eliminating disparities. Issues have been raised regarding the acquisition of information by persons with disabilities, such as the fact that subtitles and sign language interpreters are sometimes not provided for disaster news.
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.