Ableism is defined as, “the all-encompassing discrimination and exclusion of people living with disabilities” (Adams et al, 461). However, in order to determine if ableism is occurring, then one must first know what constitutes a disability. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, someone has a disability if they have a considerable handicap that hinders the actions that are important for life, such as “walking, seeing, hearing, learning, speaking, breathing, standing, lifting, or caring for one’s self” (Adams et al, 461). Disabled people make up the largest minority in the world with their estimated population at 650 million people (Adams et al, 461). Of this 650 million people, 360 million people have some sort of disabling…show more content… Problem Statement When the deaf or hearing impaired people are put into prison their language barriers cause them to experience a lack of access to fair legal treatment.
Language Barrier A major factor or variable contributing to the lack of access to fair legal treatment for hearing impaired prisoners is the language barrier that they face. This makes language barriers the independent variable to lack of fair legal treatment for hearing impaired prisoners, the dependent variable. According to the Free Dictionary, a language barrier is defined as a, “barrier to communication resulting from speaking different languages” (“Language Barrier”). In the case of hearing impaired prisoners, these barriers apply to them in many ways. First, deaf and hearing impaired in the United States normally use American Sign Language, ASL, to communicate (Vernon). However, most prisons, despite laws established by the American Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), do not employ interpreters in order to allow the prisoners to establish communications with someone for purposes of taking education classes, access to health care, access to counseling, and for hearings about parole, complaints, or punishments (Vernon). McCay Vernon states people in charge of prisons overestimate the ability of the hearing impaired to read lips. Even if the conditions for lip reading were perfect, meaning a well lit room, the speaker facing the hearing