Tag Archive: Reasonable accommodation


Deaf In Prison

I watched the #Deaf In Prison video from You Tube and I must say I feel dismal  but not surprised..which is unfortunate. You would expect that all citizens have a right to be treated fairly and their basic needs being met such as love, nourishment, clothing( if you desire), shelter and communication. Of course our basic needs over time have grown to a laundry list of items that may or may not be a need but more of a personal desire. However, the items I listed above are common to any individual in the human race.

When thinking of the Deaf community and their basic needs-communication, equal access and civil rights are key to their abilities to thrive in a hearing dominated society. When deaf individuals are deprived of these necessities they are set-up for an uphill battle one that cannot possibly be won.

The documentary clip Deaf In Prison shares experiences that deaf prisoners are facing that are all too common place and should not be. I understand people are responsible for their actions and must face the consequences but in that they remain human beings and require their basic rights while repaying their debt to society.

 

 

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English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems odd that I would ask this type of question especially with my background but very often people ask me is deafness a disability? Or is it a handicap? Or both?

My answer is that Deaf (Big D) individuals do not see it as a disability nor handicap but instead a unique way of life and a culture bonded by a common language. Deaf individuals do not focus on what they cannot do but what they can do- this would the disability vs. ability perspective. Hearing individuals tend to focus on the limitations associated with deafness until they are introduced to the “can do” perspective of a deaf person.

The hearing communities and deaf organizations have established programs and resources for deaf individuals to have equal access, resources and opportunities to be successful and a productive citizen in society based on what may be perceived as a disability. On average deaf individuals appreciate and utilize the resources and opportunities provided but they take advantage of the offers not because they feel and agree with the disabled perspective but to use the resources to accomplish goals, to advance and to thrive.

According to www.ehow.com

Disability Defined
  • According to the World  Health Organization, a  disability is “any restriction or lack (resulting from any impairment) of  ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered  normal for a human being.”

Handicap Defined

The World Health Organization’s definition of a handicap is the “loss or  limitation of opportunities to take part in the life of the community on an  equal level with others; encounter a person with disability and social,  physical environment. Is an inability to accomplish something one might want to  do. The term emphasize the focus on shortcomings in the environment and in many  tasks and activities, ex. in education, occupation, information or communication  (social dimension).”Read more:  Difference Between Disability & Handicap | eHow http://www.ehow.com/facts_6141081_difference-between-disability-handicap.html#ixzz2TQ7D4Ymx

According to www.wisegeek.com

Impairment: occurs when there is a problem that affects the normal human body structure or organ.

Disability: refers to the way in which the impairment restricts the movements and activities of the individual.

Handicap: stems from the extent of restriction that the impairment and disability impose on the individual. The criteria for measuring the handicap is by assessing how other normal people in such a situation would cope. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-impairment-disability-and-handicap.htm

 

All that being said, which there is more to the Disability vs. handicap topic, how do you define each and what do you think the difference is and which applies to the deaf ? Maybe your perspective is that neither applies to the community.

What are your thoughts respectively shared:)

Hello Everyone !

It has been some time since my last post. I apologize but  life simply happened and I have been so busy. My students are preparing for their first ASL showcase, we are signing stories at the local library and I have been attending common core training. Too many things too little time…smile.                                                              travel

This week’s post is about travel resources for the deaf community where hearing people are welcomed too.

Last week, my class learned vacation themed signs and that Deaf people enjoy going on vacation  and types of accommodations they should have rather in a hotel or airport. One of the main concerns deaf individuals may have at times is accessibility and receiving information given to travelers on cruises, flights, tours and other travel. I gave them an  homework assignment  to look for deaf friendly travel agencies  that include resources and accommodations for the deaf, other important services, destinations and contact information.

One of my students researched The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) this act sets requirements for disability access at airports and airlines. Great idea! I will give some information on the ACT.

1. Prohibits U.S. and foreign airlines from discriminating on passengers based on disability

2. requires Airlines, facilities and services accessible to passengers with disabilities

3. Require airlines to take steps to accommodate passengers with a disability.

Key information:

1. Passengers must let airline personnel know they are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf blind and the services they will need.

2. The airline must make information available through text or the best resource for the passenger.

3. Service Animals are permitted

4.Safety Assistants are permitted to travel with people who are deaf-blind

5.All televisions must have caption in the airport

Hotels, Motels and other like businesses ADA requirements: This law applies to all lodging (except for  buildings in which the owner lives and that have five or fewer rooms for rent)

1. Must provide auxiliary services when necessary to ensure communication, unless it would result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration. Auxiliary services can be an interpreter , computer-aided transcription services, written materials, amplified headset, open and closed captioning telephones compatible with hearing aids, video texts displays or other effective methods. No charge can be given for this.

2.Hotels and other lodging must be installed audio and visual  flashing fire/smoke alarms, doorbell lights, electrical outlet for TTY use near telephones, can provide assistive listening devices.

If you need to file a complaint you can contact: http://www.ada.gov/t3compfm.htm

Summer will be here soon are you looking for a Deaf friendly travel agency???? Here are some resources they found below:

www.greatdeafvacations.com

www.handsontvl.com

www.ncl.com

www.kerstinsdeaftravel.com

www.passagesdeaftravel.com

www.disabledholidaydirectory.co.uk

travel 2Happy Travel!

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American with Disabilities Act is vital to people with disabilities. Although, deaf individuals do not consider themselves disabled they are included in this Act. The ADA prohibits individuals and/or businesses from discriminating against a disabled individual in forums of public accommodations/stores/businesses, employment, state and local governments and telecommunications. These sectors must provide reasonable accommodations to disabled persons depending on the disability and circumstance. Some of the most common accommodations that are well-known is the use of an American Sign Language Interpreter, Closed Caption on media devices such as T.V.s, and Teletype communications devices on public phones but more commonly used  now are videophones. If you are a person with a disability please become familiar with the ADA Law as it is a good resource and form of protection for you.The world we live in there are still companies and individuals who are not familiar with ADA when dealing with persons who have disabilities. They are not aware of the reasonable accommodations they must provide. If you take the time to educate yourself, you can educate others to be able to help provide you with equal opportunities/access and services as the hearing and non-disabled communities receive.

An example of  the lack of education on the behalf of organizations is my twin brother who was deaf  died at the age of 32 of congestive heart failure. The last year of his life I became his care provider although I had somewhat been a provider to him all of our lives as the only hearing child in the family. That role was fine for me growing up and remained the same until the day he passed. My brother was somewhat familiar with the ADA and utilized his rights when necessary but as he became more ill it was a challenge to stand against a hearing world. My brother entered hospitals frequently, there were several hospitals where we were well-known. One in particular because we had to go through several levels of management to have an interpreter placed at the hospital. This stemmed from doctors and nurses giving my brother medicine and explaining vital procedures without an interpreter. The hospital felt he could read the information they wrote on a tablet (which I kept all the tablets) but this was not good practice because they assumed he understood what they wrote and if something medically negative happened it would be their responsibility. There have been times as an educator with a higher level degree where I do not understand medical lingo and need to retrieve a dictionary or ask the doctor to explain it in layman’s terms.  Therefore, relying on written communication is not the best choice. Since written communication was not successful, the hospital asked if I could be there during certain times to interpret information, I am a full-time employed teacher, wife and mother, I would do anything for my brother but there are times my schedule would not permit. So what did I do, you might wonder. I moved up the chain of command, we had a discussion as nice as possible about ADA and I shared documentation and the next day my brother had an interpreter (reasonable accommodation). The interpreter was not there around the clock but the nurses/doctors knew to share important information when either the interpreter or I was present to ensure my brother had access to communication and knowledge of health related topics. I am grateful I could make a difference for him and help him obtain communication by advocating on his behalf.

To sum it up, knowing your rights makes a difference. I do not encourage abuse or bullying when using the ADA and asking for unreasonable accommodations. I encourage using the ADA when it will provide equality in communication, access, and all other forums that will support the disabled population in being successful and capable of living a limitless lifestyle.

 

Below are resources that you can view for more information about the American with Disabilities Act with an emphasis on the Deaf population.

Resources:

http://www.ada.gov/

http://www.nad.org/issues/civil-rights/ADA

http://www.captions.com/deafrigh.html

http://www.disabilitylawcenter.org/publications/ADA%20Effective%20Communication%20(2).pdf