Sunday, November 11, 2012
Deaf World Japan and Deaf Support Osaka Cultural Exchange
This last weekend students from my Deaf World Japan class took a fieldtrip to NPO Deaf Support Osaka for a cultural exchange and Japanese Sign Language (JSL) practice. Deaf Support Osaka has many programs to teach and promulgate JSL, offers a place for older deaf people to work and of course has the famous Deaf Cafe and art gallary. Students from Canada, Iceland, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States were able to meet deaf people and ask them questions about deaf culture. The deaf people also had questions for the foreign students about their own countries, reasons for coming to Japan and their thoughts on Japanese culture. The discussion was held in JSL (with only occasional English interpretation as needed). The event was a huge success - my students could practice their JSL skills with native signers and the deaf people could interact with foreigners (something many of them had not had much experience with). I hope this is only the beginning of this kind of exchange. Many deaf people told me afterwards that they hope to meet the students again. So, my students (and anyone else who is interested), please go back and practice your JSL at the Deaf Cafe!
Link to NPO Deaf Support Osaka webpage (in Japanese): http://www5d.biglobe.ne.jp/~deafnet/