For things taken for granted to become ‘common practices for all’

Japanese Federation of the Deaf
President Fujisaburo Ishino

On June 2012 more than 5000 people attended the 60th National Congress of the Deaf in Kyoto. This meeting gathered the largest number of participants in National Congress history and it was a perfect event to commemorate the 65th anniversary of JFD. At the General Assembly preceding the National Congress, reelection of the board members was conducted and the organization was reborn taking a committee system. Thus, JFD was able to start a new system. Under the renewed organization we plan to actively cooperate and carry on Deaf movement with the power and energy our fellow members.

On July 2012, House of Councilors held “Children’s Diet – Revival for the Future”, that had not been held for 12 years. 150 children chosen from all over Japan took the role of child members of the Diet and discussed about “Revival for the future” talking about family and friendship bonds (‘kizuna’). Two Deaf children from a Deaf school was a member of the 150 member of Diet. During the Children’s Diet, depending on the child’s needs, sign language interpreting and summary scribing were arranged. In the actual meeting, for each committee, information access was provided and the children were able to get deeply involved in the meeting regardless of disabilities.

Needless to say, ‘communication’ is the most crucial thing for a human to live as a human. Through such arrangements that seem like ‘a common practice for information assurance’, we hope to work towards the realization of the richness of sign language and hope to treasure and nurture it. We also hope to work towards the public to inform them about the necessity of ensuring information access and communication for all disabled persons.

There are also children who are going through hardships even after one year since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Fukushima Prefectural Deaf School children are still greatly affected by the nuclear power plant accident. Their physical education classes, swimming classes and club activities are still restricted. In the hot summer, children cannot easily use their swimming pool. We plan to continually support these children so that they can safely swim in their pools in the near future.

We pray for all things that were taken for granted to become ‘common practices for all people’, with or without disabilities. Through your cooperation we will work towards the legal acceptance of ‘ensuring information access and communication’ and ‘sign language as a language’.

September 2012