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Ethiopian Immigrant's Role Model For Deaf Inmates

VIDEO [CC] - Deaf News - Ethiopian immigrant is a role model for Deaf inmates in the United States.

West - Welfare Society Territory: A Deaf Ethiopian immigrant is the new champion for US inmates with hearing impairments. Abreham Zemedagegehu, 41, whose case is causing debate in the US, is suing the powerful sheriff of Arlington, Virginia, for failing to take into account his disabilities during his detention following a theft in 2014.

“In prison, no one could communicate with me,” Abreham Zemedagegehu told the magistrates. This caused him to suffer inhuman and degrading treatment, to the point that he often missed lunch and dinner because he couldn’t hear the bell for mealtimes. Not to mention that he couldn’t communicate with the outside world because there was no phone equipment to meet his needs. Neither was he given access to a doctor who could understand the medications he required.

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Moreover, according to some of the major human rights organisations, Abreham Zemedagegehu is no exception. He’s just proof of a prison system that is not equipped to provide the basic services for prisoners with hearing disabilities, who represent between 5% and 7% of the entire prison population.

Non-governmental organizations say that even small changes would be enough to change things drastically. Some state prisons in the US even state-run prisons in Virginia have become role models to imitate. Arlington prison, where Abreham is detained, is under federal jurisdiction, however, so doesn’t fall into this category. Many state prisons now provide access for the Deaf to electronic message boards for announcements and video phones for calls to family and friends. While there are sign language interpreters for circumstances such as professional courses, disciplinary hearings or medical visits.


NOTE: Deaf YouVideo has learned, the West Welfare Society Territory web-site posted an error picture of Kenneth Felix Jr aka KenX50 insteads of Abreham Zemedagegehu as seen on HERE.

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