Deaf history


Deaf history focuses, in large part, on a centuries-long struggle over ways to overcome a heritage of discrimination by the hearing world and to provide better opportunities for the hearing-impaired. Language lies at the center of this debate. While some endorse sign language as the natural method of communication and education for the deaf, others believe that deaf people should learn spoken and written language so they can be mainstreamed with the rest of society. With the appearance of such recent technological innovations as the cochlear implant, questions of community, language, integration and identity continue to rage. In Japan, education of the deaf began in 1978 in Kyoto. Since then, schools for the deaf have flourished throughout the nation, under the leadership of the alumnus of those founded schools. The deaf finally organized themselves and started their movement. However before World War II, the deaf in Japan had long been suffering from discrimination and prejudice in which they were socially alienated. Moreover they did not recognize the need to organize the movement themselves. In 1946, just after World War II, the new constitution was promulgated, the fundamental human rights of all people were restored, and freedom of assembly and association was established. Petitions were submitted to the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation as well as to the Japanese government. Those demands came from the deaf themselves who could not enjoy TV programs such as drama or music because of their hearing disability.

More about history

Also, despite of the fact that the Law for the Welfare of Physically Disabled Persons had realized the establishment of welfare offices in each Prefecture, rehabilitation counselors who were or are employed there often failed to communicate with people with deaf clients, because they could not understand the sign language. That made it difficult for the deaf to get adequate consultation, or in the worse case, none at all.

Conclusion

The response to these petitions was negative. The Japanese Broadcasting Corporation insisted that the adoption of both sub-titles and sign language interpreters were technically difficult and that the scope of sign language was too small to convey information accurately. Because deaf persons say they have the equal rights to life, they have rights of access to the same public information, and to enjoy all aspects of social cultural life. Repeated petitions to the government by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf supported and assisted by the National Today, the deaf have the privilege to enjoying not only special assigned programs, but also other public networks including news and drama with sign language interpreters.

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