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Access of disabled voters to political and election information in Japan

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Other Title
  • 障害がある有権者に対する選挙情報の保障をめぐる政策の現状と課題
  • 障害がある有権者に対する選挙情報の保障をめぐる政策の現状と課題 : 政見放送への手話通訳・字幕の付与、選挙公報の点訳・音訳を中心に
  • ショウガイ ガ アル ユウケンシャ ニ タイスル センキョ ジョウホウ ノ ホショウ オ メグル セイサク ノ ゲンジョウ ト カダイ : セイケン ホウソウ エ ノ シュワ ツウヤク ・ ジマク ノ フヨ 、 センキョ コウホウ ノ テンヤク ・ オンヤク オ チュウシン ニ
  • 政見放送への手話通訳・字幕の付与、選挙公報の点訳・音訳を中心に

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Abstract

<p>Along with the aging population, the number of voters with disabilities is increasing. In order to provide information accessibility, it is necessary to account for the types and degree of disabilities and means of communicating, rather than to depend upon stereotyped responses such as providing sign language for deaf or hard-of-hearing voters, or braille for blind or visually impaired voters. This paper aims to clarify the current situation and challenges posed by policies regarding the access of voters with disabilities to political information in Japan using the council's conference proceedings and newspaper articles. This political information includes sign language interpretation with subtitles in election broadcasts and braille transcription and transliteration within election bulletins.</p><p>Our analysis revealed impediments to provision of appropriate means of accommodating hearing impaired voters in parliamentary election broadcasts, as the House of Representatives does not permit subtitling in its proportional representation contests and the House of Councilors does not permit subtitles or sign language interpreters regarding single–member district contests. Meanwhile, election bulletins were transliterated into braille in all prefectures yet had not been transliterated into enlarged characters in more than half of prefectures in the past ten years. In order to guarantee equal access to election information, it is vital to form a consensus among both policymakers and voters regarding how to provide the election information to voters with disabilities and who is responsible for it. This paper identifies the issues necessary for policy development.</p>

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