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 10 years, the entire disability community has seen their
employers find creative ways to get around ADA. We're also seeing
federal judges become increasingly restrictive in dealing with ADA
lawsuits. And even the current administration is in the business of
planting ultraconservative judges with anti ADA records. Sad isn't it?
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. They're losing cars, homes, credit
rating...EVERYTHING... for just trying to enforce ADA. Scary, isn't 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 future cases. We will
step back a little however getting this strip back will be easier in
the future because it has already been 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
To the Deaf workers of America, this is your month and THANK YOU!