Today I went to Mississippi Mudds to attend another ASL social event. You can read about it by clicking on that link above. There I greeted some hearing and deaf signers. We got to chat in sign language the whole time. So that was something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. The restaurant was right by the river. I thought the view from there was quite beautiful. Some day I would like to go back there again on a nice day for lunch.
Well it’s good to be back again for a short while. Right now I am still in the process of training my hearing dog to notify me of sounds I can’t hear at home. He is doing very well and I am very proud of him. When I go to sleep at night, I take off my hearing aids. Without them on I can’t hear a thing. So it’s really nice to have him here to help me out. Aside from all that, I have been walking him everyday. So I am out of the house a lot taking care of this dog. I hope you enjoy my articles on Bubblews below.
Thursday, March 28th, I made my third attendance at the NFTA meeting. I had no clue what was going to happen when I was there that time. When I got to the meeting room, it was packed. Thank god there was an empty chair for me to sit in. There was another girl in a wheelchair that was partly deaf there. It was nice to see her again too. She was just starting to learn to speak sign language. This time I decided not to be a chatterbox and to try to listen to what every one else was saying.
While I was there I noticed these people didn’t bring up stuff regarding deaf people. The only time they seemed to mention the deaf society was whenever I was talking about it. Other than that they would be discussing everything else. The meeting wasn’t about me anyway. Who am I to think that, so it’s okay. I was just there to listen, and I tried to keep my mouth closed. Last time I felt I took over the meeting by talking non- stop. So I did my best to stay silent.
This time I managed to stay quiet for about 15 minutes. By then I couldn’t wait any longer to say what I had to say. Come on I wasn’t trying to be a show off. There was just some things I had to get off my chest. They weren’t talking about deaf people, so I interrupted and started a whole new topic. I had no clue what they were talking about before. It doesn’t matter, they all knew I was deaf. What I was saying must have been off the point, of what they were discussing. Since I was deaf, I can get away with it.
I made my announcement finally. I told the NFTA staff, the directors of NFTA and whoever else was there to go and learn some sign language. The top people who worked for NFTA that I never seen before looked at me. So I told them you can go look on YouTube and learn it for free. They just nodded, like okay. Did you know that everything everyone says at the meeting gets recorded? Well I knew I was being recorded word by word. So I had to watch what I was saying. It seems like I was telling some jokes at the meeting also. Well that’s a good thing. The girl in the wheelchair that was partly deaf looked at me in surprise. I just think It would help the deaf customers if more people would make an effort to learn how to sign a few words. So that was my speech at the NFTA meeting. It probably had nothing to do with what they were discussing, but so what. I said what I had to say.
Sue is completely deaf. She is unable to speak or to use her voice. She communicates using her hands in sign language or by writing. One day, she was walking across the street and a cop was telling her to wait for the car to pass by first. She didn’t hear him, so she kept going. He used the whistle to try to get her to stop and to turn around. Nope, she continued on and didn’t hear a thing. Before she knew it, she was handcuffed and thrown inside the police car. She had no idea what happened or what she did wrong. She was in the back and the cop was talking but did not face her. She still had no idea why she was arrested and she was unable to speak for herself as she was handcuffed with her hands behind her back. There was no way the cop was going to be able to get any feedback from her, if she couldn’t use her hands. She did not know how to speak. As he was driving her to the jail, Sue cried hopelessly. Once they got there, she was hoping she could call her parents on the TTY. She had no chance to do that because the cop was fed up with her not answering any of his questions so he threw her into a locked up room alone. And she was left there alone with no way out.
Mary is a quiet hard of hearing lady, that was being driven to the jail also by another cop. She had no idea why they arrested her, as she couldn’t understand what the authorities told her as she couldn’t lip read what they said. She walked inside the jail and saw Sue come out of the room they locked her up in. Sue was still in handcuffs and crying. Mary knew this deaf girl, and couldn’t understand why she was there. Mary was having a hard time herself being there, not knowing why. She wears two hearing aids and was worried that once her batteries go dead, she won’t be able to hear at all. She didn’t have extra batteries with her for her hearing aids. And she didn’t think the jail staff would provide her hearing aid batteries while she was there. It was unheard of, not many deaf people in jail these days. So she got upset thinking about this because soon she will go completely deaf if not being provided new hearing aid batteries soon.
Mary wanted to speak to Sue and ask her why she was there. Unfortunately, Sue was in handcuffs and was unable to use her hands to use sign language. This made Mary very upset, because she noticed Sue had no way of communicating with anyone for what she needed, and this was an innocent deaf girl. Sue looked at Mary hopelessly from the jail and cried, she can’t speak, so she was having a hard time. Now this is sad and very scary. Mary could not figure out what to do , and the staff in the jail did not know they were deaf. Sue had no way of telling the staff she was deaf, since she was in handcuffs. Finally Mary asked to speak to the person in charge and explained to them they needed interpreters. The people there were shocked, they had no idea Sue could not speak and that she was deaf. This is one terrible nightmare for these two girls. Let me stop here, this never happened. This is something someone had a bad dream about and brought this story up. But things similar to this made up story have happened in real life. Now , there are groups out there that are going to help the community learn more about how to speak with deaf people. Are they planning on going to the jails and to teach the people there about deaf people’s communication needs? Are they going to educate the cops better about deaf individuals? They need it , that’s for sure.
- Justice Department opens investigation into violation of deaf prisoner rights in Denver (rawstory.com)