This is such an important piece of information I posted it to my linked in account which is read by other attorneys.
By Jean F. Andrews
Police and jail officers are often confused by the many forms of English that come from the mouths and lips, and off the fingers and hands of deaf suspects. Just because the deaf person can speak some words, and lipread the question, “what is your name,” or even sign some words in English with voice, it is often assumed the deaf suspect knows enough English to get by without a qualified sign language interpreter. In one case a neighbor of a deaf suspect knew some Fingerspelling and a police officer assumed she was signing and could interpret his questioning. Often police officers will take out a pad and paper, and begin questioning expecting the deaf suspect to be able to read and write. Even when only fragmented phrases are the result, the officers will believe communication is going along just fine as they add charades…
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