You might not want to watch the video below. It scared the life out of me.
It shows hard of hearing cancer survivor Bill Berry, 52, being forcibly ejected from a courthouse in Alberta, Canada. His crime? Inadvertently walking into the building without being screened by security, then not responding to the warnings of a sheiriff…
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have watched that with your hands over your eyes.
Berry was in the courthouse to pay a speeding fine. Having recently undergone treatment for throat cancer, he was wearing a tube in his neck that was removed during the struggle, leaving him unable to breathe. Amazingly, it was decided that the sheriff should not be charged as a result of the incident. (Read a full report here.)
This is just one of a number of incidents where deaf people have been injured or killed because they haven’t heard a warning from a police officer or a security guard.
And let’s not forget the incident outside a US shopping mall where a deaf ASL user was held in a ‘choke hold’ by a security guard in an incident that went viral on YouTube.
Less seriously, but still worrying, was the story last year when a deaf man was arrested because his sign for “I’m deaf” was mistaken for the V sign by a police officer.
It’s about time people realised that those who do not react to what you say, or respond with gestures instead of words, may not be trying to annoy you. They may simply be deaf.
Apparently, one in six of us are.
By Charlie Swinbourne (Editor)
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 6 awesome accessibility apps!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people