Recent Court Case Outcome Involving Deaf Prisoner

September 21, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law

 

WILLIAM PIERCE, – PLAINTIFF, v.s. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, – DEFENDANT.
September 11, 2015

 

When William Pierce, who is profoundly deaf, arrived at CTF to be taken into custody, prison officials took no steps whatsoever to evaluate his need for accommodation so that he would be able to have meaningful access to prison programs and services within the prison facility. They knew he was deaf, but instead of ascertaining what accommodations would be necessary for Pierce to communicate effectively in prison, they assumed that he could lipread and read the notes they wrote to him, even after he specifically requested an ASL interpreter.  The District insisted that the employees’ conduct with respect to accommodating Pierce’s deafness was entirely consistent with the law.  But the Court easily concluded that the District’s actions fell far short of what the law requires.   For details of the Courts Opinion and its outcome, see : https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013cv0134-90