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34% Is No Joke!

ImageSolitary Deaf Prison by Nancy Rourke

Depression is the inability to construct a future-Rollo May

Psssst. Hey, you. 34% is a lot! For example, “Wilken noted that inmates in segregated housing accounted for 34 percent of all suicides in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Prisoners in solitary are also 33 percent more likely than those in the general prison population to commit suicide, according to the ruling.” and please see the link below at the end of the post.

There is something important that you need to know. Someone has to say it. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) does not care about it. Everyone at the NAD home office tries very hard not to know it. This 34% claim may seem theatrical, but the odds are stacked in my favor.

Hold on a second, they will probably be thinking by now. Do not single us out. Ignoring Deaf issues is a NATIONAL PROBLEM; Deaf people are angry like zeppelins all over America. The NAD headquarters is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, and they think they are safe and healthy. Deaf people have the birthright of Deafhood. Surely Deaf people are no worse than anyone else. The first president of NAD, Robert MacGregor would agree to it!

I am questioning leadership of the NAD because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had an important workshop called “Inmate Calling Services Rates” last Wednesday, July 10th. There was not a single representative from NAD showing up. The NAD has the staff of between 11-13 people ad none of them came to the FCC workshop.

The FCC headquarters is located in Washington, D.C.  Between Silver Spring and D.C. is no more than 30 minutes of driving. The FCC workshop was a public notice. How could they have missed it? True, Deaf issues are all over America, ans the NAD is supposed to be leading “the charge of the brigade” in the United States.

For example, Deaf people suffer the most of any of minority groups when it comes to mental health concerns. From the last time I remembered, 35% of Deaf people do not have an access to counseling. It has become a major concern because counseling is rehabilitating. Presently there are about 500 Deaf people so far who are incarcerated in jails or prisons. Access to such phone services as Video Phone (VP) would save a lot of problems for Deaf people today.

There are many stories that these Deaf inmates are suffering a lot from depression, isolation, mental anguish, anxiety, loss of sleep, physical and mental illness due to the experience. Mental health issues do kill their livelihood any more than people really understand. That is where the money drains. Here is the point: Health-care professionals know that Deaf inmates need to employ American Sign Language (ASL) are uniquely massive with health problems, the question is that why does not the NAD squirm at answering the question: “Why did they not show up at the FCC workshop with care?”

Let’s look at these alarming facts: The Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD) in Canada has only three people on staff but they sure know how to be in the charge. They would make stops all over Ontario to make sure Deaf people are in good hands. Three people on staff, compared to 11-13 people on the NAD staff. What the heck?! NAD needs to turn off their television and go outside to meet real Deaf people. In the real media world, hearing people would say that Deaf people have a social deviance where hearing people keep on demonizing the Deaf with different points of view. For the sake of Deaf people’s mental health, the NAD needs to leave the home office, to go down the road, to attend a workshop, and to learn something that might make a difference in Deaf people’s lives. It is not healthy to sit inside the home office too much.

The NAD presents a new genre in zombie lore. The NAD’s mission is to imply that another could be gore fest of inexplicably reanimated, undead humans turned monsters feasting off the flesh of the living known as Deaf people. However, the NAD is not really narrative about zombies. Instead, the NAD utilizes the motif of the monster–in this case–the zombie as the metaphor to contrast the vulnerable state of humanity and its pursuit of survival in the collapse of all societal structures. However, the metaphor delves so deeply in the consciousness of physical and psychological reality for the characters in the narrative that it becomes literal. The zombie is no longer a monster, but a conflicted human turned by a societal-borne disease. Where is the NAD’s symbol in their placement between two worlds–the previous world governed by law order of hearing people, and the current world where laws appear meaningless. The NAD represents a moral code that separates the zombie experience from the human experience. The NAD also represents a failure of that moral code to shield humanity from extinction. The failure of government structures and the medical community to quell the zombie pandemic is evidenced everywhere that abandoned Deaf people from real life interaction.

Deaf inmates who are suffering depression while being incarcerated is hard to grasp. The media work very hard at assuring the public that Deaf inmate are dismissed, swept under the rug. Fortunately we the Deaf see these type of stories often enough to read between the lines and know that it is not the case at all. A big charade that goes on behind the thin blue line cannot be ignored! Education is already free. However, Deaf people are not being provided to use VP to make calls to their families, friends, or whoever they call make their lives more harder. The NAD needs to admit that they know that if they do not participate in this important FCC workshop, their attitudes do reflect those Deaf inmates that they may not return to society minimal expectations, then that is what prison becomes useful. While Deaf people are being shut out without providing an ASL interpreter for whatever the reason might be, their social literacy becomes worse. The NAD needs to realize that Deaf inmates are being forced out of education at the greatest cost.

My question is that does the NAD really understand the importance of faith in today’s version of American justice for Deaf inmates and the FUTURE of Deaf America such as freedom of speech and various constitutional rights? 34% of the Deaf inmates are suffering because of the NAD’s lackaday; the NAD does not care about Deaf inmates.

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

Reference:

Janquart, Philip A. Judge Orders Relief for Deaf California Prisoners. 7 June 2013.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/06/07/58332.htm

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