Jason Tozier, a HEARD Advocate has shared with us that HEARD is looking for further support from the community.



Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) is requesting donations including DVDs, and books on American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Culture, and Deaf Studies to support their Deaf Culture Library in Louisiana Prisons. These resources are intended to support HEARD’s efforts to improve conditions for prisoners in Louisiana and across the nation. There is a need for resources and support for prisoners.

So much in jails & prisons is not accessible for people in prison including commands from guards, auditory signals for meals, medical and mental health service providers, just to name a few. Similarly, prison libraries are filled with English & audio resources and these libraries normally do not have any information about deaf or disability cultures. This gap in information often leads to dangerous misunderstandings between staff and prisoners who interact with deaf or disabled prisoners.

HEARD is working to bridge this gap by providing resources on topics that need to be covered while also ensuring that people have equal access to educational information. The team has been in touch with the warden & education director at a prison in Louisiana that houses Deaf prisoners & they are very interested in including these resources in their collection.

The Deaf Culture campaign is only one of many campaigns that HEARD has been responsible for. One of their recent campaigns,  #DeafInPrison had a successful run and they hope to be able to do the showing again. A fact sheet was provided to help further enlighten viewers and a petition was shared with the public to further push “Department of Justice to Provide Guidance on Inclusion and Protection for Deaf Incarnated Persons”.

The Campaign has been a huge success thus far. The documentary received nearly 26,000 online views in just three days, and more than 600 people attended live viewings in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington, D.C. (HEARD)

HEARD asks that people donate new or used resources they have to support their Deaf Culture Library Campaign.

Food for thought: Louisiana recently announced that it has around “2,000 hard of hearing and 38 deaf prisoners.”

Submitted by Jason Tozier