Rights of the deaf are routinely violated [Letter]

December 24, 2013

I read with interest Kelby Brick's recent op-ed on the signing impostor at Nelson Mandela's memorial service ("Fake interpreter draws ire," Dec. 17).

As an attorney who regularly represents deaf individuals, I can confirm that Mr. Brick is absolutely correct about the often dangerous conditions that many deaf people face due to communication breakdowns.

With frightening regularity, I encounter hospitals that rely on "signing" nurses who lack basic proficiency in American Sign Language, cursory handwritten notes and rudimentary gestures to convey complex information about medical conditions, test results and treatments.

Over the two decades since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act was approved, it is remarkable how frequently and flagrantly the rights of deaf individuals are violated. Each day we fight to ensure that the rights of our deaf clients are respected and the injustices that they suffer are remedied.

Jeffrey Archer Miller, Baltimore

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