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Nyle DiMarco Joins Comedian Samantha Bee to Teach Police How to Interact With Deaf People

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Deaf model and activist Nyle DiMarco is teaming up with comedian Samantha Bee to talk about police interactions with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

DiMarco uploaded a teaser to Instagram for Wednesday night’s episode of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” a satirical late-night comedy show. Bee says in the teaser that the pair will be using reenactments to teach how “police can responsibly interact with the Deaf community.”

While the show will use humor to raise awareness about police interactions with the deaf community, there are many stories of police brutality against people who are deaf.

No statistics are available about harmful and fatal incidents between police and deaf civilians, The Washington Post reported, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest police interactions with the deaf community need improving. There are multiple stories about deaf people being shot, beat and arrested for failure to cooperate. The police typically use verbal commands when interacting with the public, so sometimes people who do not respond to commands are thought to be uncooperative when, in fact, they can’t hear.

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires law enforcement to provide effective forms of communication to people who are deaf unless a specific form of communication would be considered an “undue burden” for the situation. For instance, it may make more sense to communicate a traffic violation in writing instead of waiting for an interpreter. In more lengthy situations like interviews, writing would not be effective.

Though the ADA states law enforcement must provide ways to effectively communicate, there are things you can do as well to help ensure your safety. The American Civil Liberties Union teamed up with Deaf actress Marlee Matlin in 2014 to educate members of the Deaf community on their rights and what to do if they have to interact with police.

In a video, Matlin gives tips including keeping a sign on your car visor stating that the driver is deaf or hard of hearing. People can also keep cards with this information in their wallet. She also tells drivers to stop as soon as possible in a safe spot after you notice police lights for a traffic stop. Then, stop your car, roll down your window and place your hands on the wheel. When the officer approaches, make eye contact and make the universal sign for deafness.

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” airs Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. EST on TBS.

Photo via Instagram

Originally published: January 31, 2019
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