Tag Archives | deafness

Four Los Angeles Police Tased And Beat A Deaf Man Unconscious For Using Sign Language

police-beat-deaf-manIn which using sign language gestures is considered attempted assault. The New York Daily News reports:

Cops in California tasered a deaf man to the ground and then beat him unconscious because he couldn’t hear their orders, a new lawsuit claims.

Jonathan Meister alleges officers discharged the electric charge into his body after mistaking his attempts to communicate via sign language as aggressive hand signals.

Four cops arrived at his friend’s house in Hawthorne after receiving reports of a burglary [in an area that had experienced a rash of burglaries]. Meister was outside loading boxes into his car when the officers reportedly told him to stop. But because he is deaf, he said he did not hear their commands.

The officers beat Meister until he passed out, before taking him to a hospital where he was charged with assaulting police officers. That charge, however, was dropped and Hawthorne Police Department is now facing a lawsuit for violating Meister’s rights as a disabled person under the American with Disabilities Act.

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Enhanced Glasses Allow The Deaf To See Visualizations Of Sounds

Hopefully additional synesthetic devices such as smell-o-vision spectacles are in the pipeline as well. New Scientist writes:

If you can hear, you probably take sound for granted. Without thinking, we swing our attention in the direction of a loud or unexpected sound – the honk of a car horn, say.

Because deaf people lack access to such potentially life-saving cues, a group of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon built a pair of glasses which allows the wearer to “see” when a loud sound is made, and gives an indication of where it came from.

An array of seven microphones, mounted on the frame of the glasses, pinpoints the location of such sounds and relays that directional information to the wearer through a set of LEDs embedded inside the frame. The glasses will only flash alerts on sounds louder than a threshold level, which is defined by the wearer.

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