HEARD has supported Jay for years, both in and out of prison. We are proud of his efforts to support himself and others; and of his courage to share his story. He is currently working on a “what I wish I had known” #DeafReentry series for HEARD while battling cancer which mostly went untreated in prison due to Georgia prisons failure to provide effective communication access. He is a member of the class action lawsuit against Georgia that HEARD is supporting the ACLU with.
Thank you, Jay!
Here is a quote from the article:
“While I was in prison they had no American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. None of the staff knew sign language, not the doctors or the nurses, the mental health department, the administration, the chaplain, the mail room. Nobody. In the barbershop, in the chow hall, I couldn’t communicate with the other inmates. When I was assaulted, I couldn’t use the phone to call the Prison Rape Elimination Act (a federal law meant to prevent sexual assault in prison) hotline to report what happened. And when they finally sent an interviewer, there was no interpreter. Pretty much everywhere I went, there was no access to ASL. Really, it was deprivation.”
Full article here: The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison