#DeafInPrison Twitter Chat

On Saturday, March 28th, Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) hosted the first-ever #DeafInPrison Twitter chat to engage in an honest dialogue about the justice system’s failure to provide equal access to justice for deaf people & people with disabilities. The chat raised consciousness about the Deaf Access to Justice Movement and highlighted the need for immediate action to reverse the trends of police brutality against people who are deaf and people with disabilities; deaf wrongful arrests and convictions; & abuse of prisoners who are deaf and prisoners with disabilities.


  1. The week before the chat, people watched the powerful Al Jazeera America documentary, "Deaf In Prison" & shared their thoughts on social media using #DeafInPrison. HEARD worked with Al Jazeera America producers for more than two years on this documentary project & we are humbled and grateful for their support of the Movement.
  2. TERMS

    People with Disability/People with Disabilities = #PwD.

    #SchoolToPrisonPipeline #STPP=national trend of children being funneled out of schools & into juvenile & #CJSystem.

    Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing = #DDBDDHH.

    American Sign Language #ASL is a full language with its own syntax, grammar & structure. It is not a 1-to-1 translation of English.


    Americans with Disabilities Act #ADA-federal law that prohibits discrimination against #PwD & imposes public accessibility requirements on justice, legal and corrections entities.

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act #IDEA - federal law governing provision of early intervention & Special Ed. services.
  3. In the days & hours leading up to the chat, #DeafInPrison support and allyship came from expected & unexpected places . . .
  4. Please help amplify the Deaf Access to Justice Movement by sharing what you learn and asking others ...
  5. More than one hundred Twitter users participated in this historic chat!
  6. Before we dove into questions, we laid the groundwork for the chat.
  7. Participants reminded us of the importance of honoring the multiple identities and experiences of DDBDDHH community members.
  8. Heartbreaking narratives of audism, ableism, discrimination & abuse within the justice system were shared throughout the discussion.