Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Orange Deafie Labor Day Message To Deaf Workers Of America

Happy Labor Day!

You all set a very fine example for other Deaf people to follow. You are role models
in the Deaf community.

America needs more Deaf workers. America can acquire more Deaf workers by being more
vigilant in their enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which was
signed in 1990. Once the Deaf community sees that ADA is being vigorously enforced,
they will feel more secure and confident and become workers.

The past 19 years, the entire disability community has seen their employers find
ways to get around ADA. We're also seeing federal judges become increasingly
restrictive in dealing with ADA lawsuits. We're even seeing one of our supposedly
trusty guardians, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), behave
amnesic when we try to explain our cases to them. The same thing goes on for
employers who hire vicious lawyers to defend themselves against ADA lawsuits
by twisting the facts around and manipulating the law itself beyond recognizance.
Finally there is no safety net for disability plaintiffs who lose their ADA cases.
When they lose, they lose a lot more than just their cases. Theyre losing cars,
homes, credit rating...EVERYTHING... for just trying to enforce ADA. Scary,
isnt it?

Basically, the long road to fairness at the workplace remains unpaved and
peppered with hazards. Each victory on our behalf amounts to a tiny slice
of this road being paved. Then there's the possibility of our victories being
nullified or overturned in furture cases. We will step back a little however
getting this strip back will be easier in the future because it has paved.

Deaf workers all share a common victory which is being role models for the
Deaf community. They are also our pioneers. We must support our Deaf workers
and Deaf pioneers REGARDLESS of their economic status. They all reinforce the
statement "Deaf People Can Do Anything Except Hear" made by I. King Jordan,
Deaf President of Gallaudet University. Deaf workers and pioneers all set
examples for us to follow.

To the Deaf workers of America, this is your day and THANK YOU!

Richard Roehm
Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center

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