JUSTISIGNS – Equal Access to Justice for the Deaf Community

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When the law is applied, we use models of social policy, knowledge of majority cultural behaviour and morality, assumptions about the use of a shared common language and the application of legal precedents. None of these assumptions work well when Deaf people are included in legal settings. Consequently, the claim that justice will provide for the protection of an individual’s rights, is brought into question when it is assumed that Deaf people access the legal system in the same way and experience the same outcomes as their hearing (i.e. non-Deaf) peers.

JUSTISIGNS recognizes three specific reasons for this problem:

  1. The lack of or limited status afforded to signed languages inhibits access to information at all stages of the legal process for Deaf people;
  2. There is limited understanding in legal settings of the constraints imposed by the interpreting process when working between any two languages, with additional challenges arising when working between a spoken (auditory-verbal) and signed (visual-spatial) language;
  3. A lack of awareness of the historical educational and cultural background of Deaf people which gives rise to challenges in legal settings.

For further details please visit www.interesourcegroup.eu.

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