Clearinghouse publishes white paper addressing communication disabilities in jails and prisons

July 7, 2022

Incarcerated person, visible from mid-torso down, uses a white cane to navigate through a blue prison doorway.

The Clearinghouse has published the first in a series of white papers offering policy recommendations based on civil rights lawsuits. 

The first white paper, Effective Communication with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, and Low Vision Incarcerated People, proposes model policies for jails and prisons to serve the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and low vision persons in their custody.  The proposed policies address everything from intake protocols and staff training to antidiscrimination principles to tracking and auditing metrics, and include detailed recommendations related to medical devices, auxiliary aids and services, and reasonable accommodations and modifications.  They are based on settlement agreements and other litigation documents, existing prison and jail policies, and conversations with advocates and experts in the field.

The white paper and related project materials are available here.  The accompanying special collection of cases addressing the needs of deaf and/or blind persons in jail or prison is here.