By Katie Hetrick
Press & Guide Newspapers
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Five deaf students and their teacher and interpreter talked to the Dearborn Public School board on Monday about their efforts to support the national Signing for Safety program.
Dearborn High teacher Lori Baker said she tries to find relevant news articles her deaf and hard-of-hearing students can study in class and this year they read about a case in California where police used a Taser on a deaf man when he failed to respond to their verbal commands. Students then did research and found at least four other cases where police had assaulted innocent deaf people because they did not realize the people were deaf, Baker said.
Students’ research also led them to the Signing for Safety program. American sign language instructor Colleen Langdon works with local police departments to train them how to recognize a deaf person, basic sign language, a bit about deaf culture, and the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act for police dealing with deaf people.