Winter Deaflympics Held in Salt Lake City, U.S.A.

from 15 February 2007 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

Prime Minister Abe signing to the Japanese athletes

The 16th Winter Deaflympics was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. from February 1 to 10, 2007, hosted by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). A total of 314 athletes from 24 countries competed in Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Hockey, and Curling.

Japan sent a delegation of 39 people, including coaches, staff, etc. The 17 athletes from Japan competed in 11 different categories of 3 competitions: Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, and Cross Country Skiing. The athletes have been practicing hard for the Deaflympics in special training camps.

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Showa University Hospital to be the First Japanese University Hospital to Open an Out-patient Clinic for the Deaf

from 1 February 2007 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

Showa University Hospital (Shinagawa, Tokyo) will start the “Out-patient clinic for the Deaf” from March 3, 2007. This initiative is the first of its kind in Japan to be undertaken by a university hospital.

The concept of this clinic is to offer “out-patient clinic services with special consideration for persons with hearing disabilities”. It starts with any disorder within the department of internal medicine. At the moment, the clinic opens every Saturday mornings of odd weeks with appointments. Patients can choose means of information access such as sign language interpretation and written communication at the time of making appointments.

Varied assistive devices, which were developed by Dr. Eikoh Takahashi, Assistant Professor of Department of Public Health, Showa University, will be available at the clinic. Dr. Takahashi is the writer of the “Let’s Go to Hospital” column and the respondent of the Q&A Section of the Japanese Deaf News.

Moreover, Ms Atuko Kurakata, President of the Tokyo Federation of the Deaf, and the first Deaf pharmacist in Japan, Ms Kumi Hayase are included on the external advisory board.

Details are available on the web site of the Showa University Hospital at:

Tsukuba University of Technology Enrollment Ceremony

from 1 May 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

New Students Begin Freshman Year With High Hopes and Dreams

First Enrollment Ceremony since Its Start as a 4-Year University

Newly enrolled freshmen listen attentively to the speeches

President Ohnuma giving his speech to the students

The Tsukuba University of Technology (NTUT), the first educational institution in the world providing higher education to students with visual and hearing disabilities, held its first Enrollment Ceremony to welcome new freshman-year students since its rebirth as a 4-year university. (Report and photos by Akitoshi Mochida)

On April 7, 2006, the National University Corporation, Tsukuba University of Technology held its Enrollment (Matriculation) Ceremony at the Tsukuba International Conference Center. The Faculty of Industrial Technology, where the Deaf students study, is divided into 2 departments: the Department of Industrial Information (accepting 35 freshmen this year) and the Department of Synthetic Design (accepting 15 new students).

The University’s education is aimed to provide specialized technology to enable students with visual and hearing impairments to lead independent and self-supportive lives and to become leaders who contribute to society.

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ILO Expert Group Meeting on Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Vocational Training

from 15 April 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

Feb. 14~16, 2006, UN ESCAP Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand

Making Inputs from the Standpoint of the Deaf

Participants of ILO Expert Group Meeting (Front row, extreme left: Director Ogura of WFD RSA/P)

ILO (International Labour Organization) held a 3-day meeting on “Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Vocational Training” from February 14 to February 16, 2006 at the UN ESCAP Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

Participants of the meeting were governmental officials and representatives of corporate employer organizations as well as representatives of persons with disabilities including Mr. Topong Kulkhanchit (DPI Asia-Pacific), representatives of blind organizations from Malaysia and Thailand, and Director Ogura of WFD RSA/P.

On both February 14th and 15th, a video conference was set up, connecting the Bangkok Workshop and the ILO headquarters in Geneva. Ms. Barbara Murray, ILO Senior Specialist on Disability participated in the discussion from Geneva, together with her colleagues.

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New Nursing Care Facilities to Ensure A Happy Future for Aged Deaf

from 1 April 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

“Nanafuku-en” Opened in April in Saitama

“Awaji Fukuro no Sato” Opened in Hyogo

Nanafuku-en (Moroyama City, Saitama Prefecture)

On April 1, two new nursing homes for the aged persons with hearing and speaking disabilities were opened in Saitama and Hyogo Prefectures. Both provide private bedrooms to all residents and are divided into blocks for living together in small group units. The facilities were realized as a result of persevering fund-raising efforts by the Deaf and hearing supporters.

Private Bedrooms and Group Units

The nursing home for the aged called “Nanafuku-en” is located in Moroyama City in Saitama Prefecture. It is a 2-storied building with a total floor space of about 3150 m2 built on a 5600m2 plot of land.

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7th UN Ad Hoc Committee Meeting on the “Conventions for Persons with Disabilities” – New York

from March 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

Proposals on “Definitions”

(From left) Board members of JFD, Mr. Takada and Mr. Ogura, conversing
with Ad Hoc Chair, Ambassador Mac Kay, and Ms. Takagi of the Secretariat
interpreting (right).

The 7th UN Ad Hoc Committee Meeting on the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities was held from January 16 to February 3 at the UN Headquarters in New York. From the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, Board Members Eiichi Takada and Takeo Ogura attended the Ad Hoc from January 20 to January 27, as part of the observer delegation of the Japan Disability Forum.

Active Participation of WFD and Deaf Leaders Board Members Takada and Ogura From Japan

Present at the Ad Hoc were President Markku Jokinen and President Emerita Liisa Kauppinen of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), WFD board member Martha Lucia Osorno Posada of Colombia, and other Deaf representatives from Japan, Chile, Canada, etc. It was a pity that there wasn’t even one Deaf representative from the United States.

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Asian Deaf Friendship Fund Supports Deaf Schools in Myanmar

from February 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

Gifts of TV Sets, DVD Players and School Supplies

Pres. Ando receives a present from students in return for his gift of TV and DVD sets, and
school supplies. (National School for the Deaf in Mandalay)

The Japanese Federation of the Deaf dispatched its President, Mr. Toyoki Ando, and members of the staff to 3 countries in Asia from November 25 to December 3, 2005. The delegation visited Myanmar and Cambodia and discussed future directions of assistance utilizing the Asian Deaf Friendship Fund (ADFF). In Thailand, they visited the Asia- Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and the office of the National Association of the Deaf in Thailand (NADT) for exchanges of views.

Two Schools in Myanmar

President Ando and his staff entered Myanmar on November 25, 2005. They visited the Myanmar National School for the Deaf in Mandalay on the 26 and the 27. The School was established in 1987 with roughly 50 students. Now the school has 210 students, 140 commuting and 70 boarding. There are 24 teachers, of which 5 are Deaf graduates of the same school.

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Video Conference of the Deaf Between Japan and Uzbekistan

from 15 January 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

JICA’s Distant Communication Technology Enables Communication in Sign Language

Japanese Participants: (from left) Miyuki Nakagawa, Takuji Wada,
Mizuho Kajiwara, Hisako Hirai、Kaori Shimizu
(JICA Tokyo International Center, Dec.9, 2005)

A video conference connecting Japan and Uzbekistan via ISDN line was conducted successfully and deaf participants from the two countries enjoyed discussion in sign language. The video conference was made possible by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)’s distant technical cooperation project (JICA-Net). The conference was held on the evening of Dec.9, 2005 at JICA Tokyo International Center with 5 participants from each country.

Director Takeo Ogura of WFD Regional Secretariat in Asia/Pacific (RSA/P) facilitated the video conference. Mr. Yasushi Inaba, the Director of the Uzbek-Japanese Human Resource Development Center, gave an opening speech in which he said, “We offer a computer course for the Deaf at the Uzbek-Japanese Human Resource Development Center. The students have been requesting an opportunity to exchange opinions with Japanese Deaf people. I am glad that we could finally make it happen with the video conferencing system.” Participants at both venues welcomed the speech by waving their hands at the same time on the screen.

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Guarantee Communication and Support for Living At All Times and In All Situations!

from 1 January 2006 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

436 Participants Gather for National Rally

Issues on needs assessment of people with hearing impairments

Participants listen attentively to discussions on the new law.

A total of 436 participants from all 47 prefectures in Japan attended the rally. The venue was practically packed and heated up by the energy of the participants.

The day started with an opening statement by Mr. Toyoki Ando, Director of Central Headquarters. After a report from Mr. Fujisaburo Ishino, General Secretary of the Central Headquarters, Mr. Hajime Tamura of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Assistant General Manager of the Social Participation Division of the Department of Health and Social Welfare for People with Disabilities and Social Support Bureau) gave a presentation on the “Law to support independent living of persons with disabilities” and its enforcement. Mr. Tamura explained that local administrations would be responsible for deciding the scale and budget allotment for executing the communication support program. He also explained the importance of needs assessment of beneficiaries, and emphasized that the role of the central government should not be that of a leader but a partner with local administrations in promoting social welfare programs. In response to a question from one of the participants regarding the social recognition and guarantee of sign language as a language, he agreed that there is a need to secure a support system for communication guarantee, and suggested a rearrangement of the support system to clarify “who is responsible and what means are going to be taken to guarantee communication support.”

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5th Japan Seminar on Sign Language Studies

from July 2005 Issue of Japanese Deaf News, JFD’s monthly newspaper:

Learning from the Philippines

Dr. Liza B. Martinez giving her lecture

The “5th Japan Seminar on Sign Language Studies” (hosted by the Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies [JISLS] of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf [JFD]) was held on June 12 at the National Center of Sign Language Education (at Community Sagano in Kyoto), attended by about 60 people from all over Japan.

After greetings from the representative of the hosting organization [JISLS] and the President of the local Deaf Association, the honorary guest, Ms. Liza B. Martinez, Ph.D., Director of the Philippine Deaf Resource Center (hearing), gave her keynote presentation entitled, “Filipino Sign Language: Understanding the Past and Looking to the Future”. In this presentation, Dr. Martinez introduced the experiences of the Philippine Deaf community in Deaf research and advocacy.

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