Support for People with Disabilities: Toshiba Sign Language Club
Many hearing-impaired people work for Toshiba. Therefore, various efforts are made to ensure good communication among all workers and to create a mutually comfortable workplace environment.
The "Toshiba Sign Language Club" was launched in September 2009 to promote greater understanding of hearing-impaired people through sign language lessons. Once a month at the Toshiba Head Office, eight hearing-impaired employee instructors give lessons to approximately 40 members per month on average, who are divided into five classes according to their level of experience. At the 12th Eco-Products Exhibition 2010, the verbal presentation given onstage at the Toshiba booth was accompanied by sign language. A hearing-impaired employee provided sign-language interpretation at the cue of a listening assistant for a smooth and seamless presentation.
In January 2011, a hearing-impaired employee gave a presentation titled "Training Seminar for Communication with Hearing Impaired Persons" to employees of Toshiba Group companies. It provided essential understanding about hearing impairments that are not easily recognizable, by imparting communication know-how based on the lecturer's first-person experience, and also by engaging the audience in direct conversations with the lecturer. Additionally, employees with hearing disabilities are sent to summer vacation classes at elementary schools near the Toshiba head office. There, they teach sign-language to the children.