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Oklahoma Association of the Deaf President’s Statement

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Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) President Renee Sites issued a statement yesterday. I do not know when, but here’s the statement in relation to a killing of an unharmed Deaf man (picture attached above) in Oklahoma City the other night. What do you think of this statement?

“The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) steps forward in recognition that education is needed in our home state and across the nation between deaf and emergency responders. We are sad, but not surprised by this most recent act. Lack of education plays a vital part in many communities. It is our hope to join with police departments in Oklahoma, to provide better advocacy and training to law enforcement personnel. We want to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future. We want the members of our community to be safe. We understand that police are often in difficult situations and might not remember that all individuals can respond to verbal commands.

There are many challenges between the deaf community and law enforcement. We would be willing to partner with agencies in Oklahoma to better serve our communities while breaking down barriers. OAD has discussed providing town halls in different cities in Oklahoma. This is not only for police, but all emergency responders. If you would like to set up a town hall with our deaf community, please feel free to reach out. We are here to advocate, educate and learn together. Oklahoma Association of the Deaf is here to build bridges between the two communities. We would like people to know they can reach out to us.”

“The mission of the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Oklahoma.”

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