Sign Language Stated in Law!

Revised Basic Act for Persons with Disabilities Enacted on July 29, Promulgated on August 5

The bill of revision of the Basic Act for Persons with Disabilities, which states “language (including sign language)”, was approved unanimously in the House of Councilors on July 29, 2011. It was promulgated and came into effect on August 5.

The revised Act includes a statement of “language (including sign language)” in the Article 3(iii) and became the first law in Japan that has recognized sign language as a language.

Article 3 (Cohesion in Local Communities, etc.)

(iii) Every person with disabilities, wherever possible, shall be ensured opportunities to choose his or her language (including sign language) and/or other means of communication, and the expansion of opportunities to choose his or her means of acquiring or utilizing information shall be promoted.

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