First Digest Post in a While

By BitcoDavid

We haven’t had a digest post in quite a while, but when enough news happens in a short period of time, it becomes necessary to cover it in a single post.

Attorneys Pat Bliss, right, and Reginald Gracia speak to the Florida Commission on Offender Review on behave of Felix Garcia on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Tallahassee, Fla. Garcia, a deaf Florida man who supporters say was framed for murder by his brother has a chance to get out of prison. Garcia is serving a life sentence for the murder of Joseph Tramontana Jr. during a 1981 Tampa robbery. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Attorneys Pat Bliss, right, and Reginald Gracia speak to the Florida Commission on Offender Review on behave [sic] of Felix Garcia on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Tallahassee, Fla. Garcia, a deaf Florida man who supporters say was framed for murder by his brother has a chance to get out of prison. Garcia is serving a life sentence for the murder of Joseph Tramontana Jr. during a 1981 Tampa robbery. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
First off, this past Thursday, October 1st was Felix Garcia‘s birthday.  Pat Bliss sent me the following:

October 1st is Felix’s birthday. He’ll be 54. Felix has endured some challenging times this year and if you would like to encourage him and send him a birthday card here is his current address:

Felix Garcia #482246
RMC – Main Unit
P.O. Box 628
Lake Butler, FL 32054

I really meant to get this posted last week. I’ve been swamped with other projects, and I just didn’t get a chance to get this up in time for his birthday. For that I apologize to Felix, and to those of you who would have liked a card to arrive in time. All I can do is to say, we’re with you Felix, and we honestly and sincerely hope that next years cards can be sent to a civilian address. Again, please accept my apology with these belated birthday wishes.

People meet and teach each other ASL for free. Image Credit: BitcoDavid
People meet and teach each other ASL for free.
Image Credit: BitcoDavid

Second, California is currently debating a change to their education code, that will create a protection for ASL as the official language of the Deaf and HOH. If this law passes, all students who have language problems in the English speaking world, will have ASL classes available to them. Likewise, Hearing students who want to go into Special Education, as well as ASL clubs and classes in mainstreamed schools, will be offered the opportunity to learn Sign. the following video was made by students in an ASL club in an unidentified California High School. If you’re interested in learning more, the name of the law is SB210, and here’s the .gov link:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB210

 

Sign videos are an incredibly important tool for anyone struggling to learn Sign. It’s a uniquely difficult language to learn, because you need to see it rather than simply hear or read it. Following experienced signers is much more difficult than simply memorizing your own vocabulary. This video not only deals with a critical issue, but because it was made by students, it happens to be very easy to follow. Captions are provided, making it even easier to associate new signs with English words.

I think it’s critically important that those who make Sign videos caption them, not only for those Hearing people who would be interested in what is being discussed, but also for those of us who use these videos as one of the tools in our arsenal, for learning this extremely complex language.

Abreham Zemedagegehu, who is deaf, poses for a portrait at Akin Gump law firm in Washington on Sept. 21, 2015. He is being represented pro bono by Akin Gump in a lawsuit he filed alleging neglect in the Arlington County, Va., jail. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Finally, we have this article which was brought to my attention by Jean Andrews. It came from the Washington Post, written by Matt Zapotosky. We are always happy when a major media outlet covers our cause, and I would take this opportunity to thank Wapo for helping to bring the plight of Deaf inmates into the public conversation.

The way Abreham Zemedagegehu tells it, the six weeks he spent in the Arlington County, Va., jail nearly amounted to torture.

A deaf Ethio­pian immigrant with limited ability to speak or write English, Zemedagegehu says he missed two or three meals a week because he could not hear the announcement that it was time to eat. He says he went his entire stay without medication for back pain, struggled to communicate with jailers and was unable to make phone calls to friends outside.

Read the rest of the article here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/mistreatment-of-the-deaf-in-prison-in-2015/2015/09/30/0c1244e8-5e1a-11e5-9757-e49273f05f65_story.html

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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