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Hundreds of people from as far as Arkansas, New York and Texas showed up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to learn about how mass incarceration affects deaf and disabled people.

Presenters included deaf returned citizens; the president of CC Group; a practicing criminal defense attorney who has represented over 200 deaf clients & HEARD’s founder; two RIT/NTID students, Tina Banerjee and Derek Landis, who are youth advocates for HEARD. People described the experience as “mind-blowing,” “eye-opening,” and “life-changing.”

Many thanks to HEARD volunteer Scott Huffman who took the lead in organizing this workshop; Youth Advocates who shared how to use new media & live tweeted the event; Walker Estes for moderating the deaf returned citizen panel; all four amazing Deaf returned citizens who shared their stories; Amber Farrelly and Talila “TL” Lewis, who shared their expertise about representing and advocating for deaf people in the criminal justice system

Finally, humble thanks to CC Group who provided communication access (ASL/English Interpreters) for the entire day; and to all of those who came and dedicated themselves to helping end mass incarceration and improving conditions for prisoners across the nation.

Event photos can be foundhere.