This was posted on http://crimedime.com. It represents the first in a series, and http://deafinprison.com is deeply grateful and indebted.

CrimeDime

by BitcoDavid* of DeafInPrison.com

There is a plethora of problems faced by Deaf inmates, but perhaps the most significant is the lack of communication. Deafness is more than a condition of being unable to hear – it is a condition of being unable to communicate. Most Deaf do not speak English as a native language. Many have no language or communication mechanism at all, but the majority of Deaf are raised speaking ASL. This is a language, not an add-on or overlay. In other words, one does not grow up with English, and then later in life, translate that English into Sign. It’s as alien a linguistic form to ours as is Chinese.

This problem then, translates into spoken commands, but also written and symbolic ones. For example, we all understand that when a corrections officer says, “Get away from that bunk,” a deaf inmate will not…

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