February 17, 2017
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The February 17, 2017 E-News has been posted.Read More »January 25, 2017
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The January 20, 2017 has been posted.Read More »August 23, 2016
The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is saddened at the news of the death of Daniel Harris in North Carolina. Harris, a Deaf individual who was unarmed, was shot by an officer after an attempted traffic stop.
Although it is impossible to say whether any one thing would have stopped this incident from occurring, MCDHH believes that building relationships between the police and the Deaf Community is key to preventing instances like this in the future.
MCDHH signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) in July 2015 for the purpose of encouraging effective communication. Much of this relationship centers on the Missouri Visor Communication Card Program, which provides Deaf and Hard of Hearing drivers, as well as officers, with pictographic cards to facilitate basic communication in a traffic stop setting. More information about the visor card program can be found here. It is understood by MCDHH and MSA that it is important for education to take place for all parties involved. Both organizations have reached out to the Deaf Community through community presentation opportunities and a collaborative YouTube video explaining proper use of the visor cards (click here to view). MCDHH staff recently provided Deaf cultural competency training at an MSA conference and intends to continue working closely with the sheriffs to offer more.
If you are interested in seeing more training in your area, contact your local police department.
- Ask if they are already receiving training on how to communicate with people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
- Explain the importance of learning about Deaf Culture and communication best practices.
- Offer resources through MCDHH or other organizations that provide officer training.
- Tell them about the Visor Communication Card Program and explain that they can get officer cards from MCDHH or MSA.
- Invite them to your local organization’s meetings to get to know your community better.
MCDHH is committed to working with law enforcement and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community to prevent what happened to Daniel Harris from happening in the future. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to collaborate to offer more training in your area.Read More »