The Kita Ward Assembly, where deaf-mute Tokyo author Rie Saito was elected in the quadrennial unified elections in April, has become the first legislature in the nation to develop a system that allows lawmakers with hearing or speech impediments to participate in sessions in real time.

The text-to-speech conversion system announced Tuesday makes use of wireless devices, the public address system, and personal computers so lawmakers with disabilities can interact with other members in a more seamless fashion.

The system, which also converts speech to text, is part of a computer project the Kita Ward Assembly started in fiscal 2013 to facilitate participation by assembly members with hearing or speech disabilities.