Understanding the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in prison and jail – MPR

Two women smile in front of iron rail fencing that surrounds a brick building.

Peterson, pictured left outside Stillwater Corrections Facility, with Hearing Interpreter Patty McCutcheon.

Sonja Peterson, attorney with Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center and client Choua Yang, whose first language is American Sign Language, talk to Minnesota Public Radio about MDLC’s recent settlement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Peterson speaks to the agreement which requires that a paging system be used in addition to loudspeaker announcements to ensure all inmates get messages. Choua, a former Legal Aid client, attests to the experience of being an incarcerated individual unable to communicate with prison and jail personnel when they do not speak or understand ASL. Listen to the interview on MPR’s Minnesota Now.