Law Enforcement - Contact with Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals

AquaPig

New Member
Hello, I am a law enforcement officer in Michigan, USA. Tonight at work I came across something I hadn’t experienced yet. There was a motor vehicle crash involving two deaf individuals. My partners and I were unable to effectively communicate with them until we got an interpreter. After this incident, it got me thinking is there any way, or anything I could introduce to my department to help us communicate with this community more effectively? Thank you, any tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
I am very hard of hearing but not completely deaf and do not sign. Since it came out I have used Live Transcribe. It is a smartphone application to get realtime captions developed by Google for the Android operating system. Development on the application began in partnership with Gallaudet University. It is free. Someone else has developed a version for iPhone but that has a monthly fee to use it.

There are some errors when using it with some of them turning out downright funny. But even so I find by far most things understandable out of context. Of course, masking does not help accuracy.

This is just one of the speech to text apps out there and I am sure which one is preferred varies from individual to individual. I don't know about others but Live Transcribe does have the option to use a keyboard on the phone if not wanting to speak. Because of the size of the screen on a phone the phone would have to be handed back and forth if more than one person wants to read the conversation on the same device.
 
I am very hard of hearing but not completely deaf and do not sign. Since it came out I have used Live Transcribe. It is a smartphone application to get realtime captions developed by Google for the Android operating system. Development on the application began in partnership with Gallaudet University. It is free. Someone else has developed a version for iPhone but that has a monthly fee to use it.

There are some errors when using it with some of them turning out downright funny. But even so I find by far most things understandable out of context. Of course, masking does not help accuracy.

This is just one of the speech to text apps out there and I am sure which one is preferred varies from individual to individual. I don't know about others but Live Transcribe does have the option to use a keyboard on the phone if not wanting to speak. Because of the size of the screen on a phone the phone would have to be handed back and forth if more than one person wants to read the conversation on the same device.
The iPhone version is called Otter ai, and it's free for the first 600 minutes a month, which is more than enough for most people. If you want 6000 minutes a month, it's $10. It's very accurate and gets more accurate the longer you use it. You can adjust type font and size. I use it all the time when speaking to someone who is wearing a mask.
 

Old Analog

Active Member
There should be resources, try pm ellytheencourger, or maybe she will respond, ask the interpreter what's in your area, YouTube check out ASL Meredith, and Bill Vicars and ASL Interpreter...Hanson, have fun down the rabbit hole, OH and thank you for asking and reaching out, to many Deaf have had bad and even fatal encounter with law enforcement, something else you may not have thought about not just communication but cultural and social norms are different you need to be aware of. Can't remember how I found them but there are some YouTube police training videos but I think they were Canadian or UK ?? Try typing in YouTube search bar tips for responding to deaf and hard of hearing emergencies think that was one, good luck and thanks again:type:
 

mikemike

Member
Hello, I am a law enforcement officer in Michigan, USA. Tonight at work I came across something I hadn’t experienced yet. There was a motor vehicle crash involving two deaf individuals. My partners and I were unable to effectively communicate with them until we got an interpreter. After this incident, it got me thinking is there any way, or anything I could introduce to my department to help us communicate with this community more effectively? Thank you, any tips would be greatly appreciated!
there an ADA and the police pamphlet at www.ada.gov also at www.nad.org under resources. I think PERF have something
 

EllietheEncourager

Active Member
Hello, I am a law enforcement officer in Michigan, USA. Tonight at work I came across something I hadn’t experienced yet. There was a motor vehicle crash involving two deaf individuals. My partners and I were unable to effectively communicate with them until we got an interpreter. After this incident, it got me thinking is there any way, or anything I could introduce to my department to help us communicate with this community more effectively? Thank you, any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for reaching out for help and advice. That takes a big person in any area of profession. Asking the Deaf individual how they communicate best is key, some were raised in "oral" households and can lipread fairly well. However, in a high stress situation such as a car wreck, writing it down may be better for both of you. (Might even help with the paperwork to turn in the exact transcripts?) The voice to text apps mentioned are great ways to save time compared to writing. Eyes are their ears, so just making sure they can see you will help them stay calm. The lights and time of day can make a huge difference; try not flashing the light in their eyes. That could induce panic because they won't be able to communicate at all until their eyes adjust again. They won't be able to comply and that isn't good for either party. Also, if an arrest is ever necessary, I'm told a Deaf individual must be cuffed in front so they can still communicate. Thank you for all you do and for caring enough to ask at all.
 

EllietheEncourager

Active Member
There should be resources, try pm ellytheencourger, or maybe she will respond, ask the interpreter what's in your area, YouTube check out ASL Meredith, and Bill Vicars and ASL Interpreter...Hanson, have fun down the rabbit hole, OH and thank you for asking and reaching out, to many Deaf have had bad and even fatal encounter with law enforcement, something else you may not have thought about not just communication but cultural and social norms are different you need to be aware of. Can't remember how I found them but there are some YouTube police training videos but I think they were Canadian or UK ?? Try typing in YouTube search bar tips for responding to deaf and hard of hearing emergencies think that was one, good luck and thanks again:type:
Thank you for your vote of confidence; I appreciate it. I hope I did it justice. In no way do I claim to be an expert but I try to help people however I can in a day.
 

authentic

Well-Known Member
You are forgetting that NOT all of us with enough of a hearing problem to have it as communication issue in some situations use American Sigh Language!! Or any other sign language for that matter.
A lot of cops are taking ASL classes what the ____ are you taking about? Stop being Audism dafuq
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
A lot of cops are taking ASL classes what the ____ are you taking about? Stop being Audism dafuq
Regardless of how you feel it is a population that cops have to deal with. And doing it in a understanding way can help with safety for both the cop and the person they are trying to communicate with.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Regardless of how you feel it is a population that cops have to deal with. And doing it in a understanding way can help with safety for both the cop and the person they are trying to communicate with.
Why shouldn't the officers learn ASL and then ask if we sign? It's simple enough to say no and then let them know how you would prefer to communicate. I have been asked by others if I sign and when I said no, they used other methods to communicate with me.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
Why shouldn't the officers learn ASL and then ask if we sign? It's simple enough to say no and then let them know how you would prefer to communicate. I have been asked by others if I sign and when I said no, they used other methods to communicate with me.
No reason not to at all. I was feeling so aware of Authentic's history of not seeing anything except ASL. I mentioned "And doing it in a understanding way" and asking if we sign is one of those ways.
 
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