Central Headquarters for Disaster Relief has been making efforts to send sign language interpreters to Miyagi prefecture where the Earthquake and Tsunami affected severely.
We believe that it is important to dispatch sign language interpreters not as volunteers but as “professionals who are certified and paid by local governments.” Central Headquarters made a request to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare that each prefectural and city governments to dispatch full-time sign language interpreters to the affected area at government expense.
In response to this request, on March 30th 2011, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued a document called “Regarding the dispatch of sign language interpreters as information communication support for Deaf persons at evacuation centers” to Departments of disability, health and welfare of each prefectural and city governments requesting them to send sign language interpreters.
After the document was sent out from Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare , Central Headquarters for Disaster Relief has called for collaboration from Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JFD), the National Research Association for Sign Language Interpretation (Zen-tsu-ken), Japanese Association of Sign Language Interpreters (JASLI) to request local associations of each organization to inform their members and local governments of this issue and to lobby for the dispatch of sign language interpreters with government expense.
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