Can you imagine being held prisoner by people you cannot communicate with, with no idea why you are there or when you will be released? That’s what happened to Timothy Siaki, an American man imprisoned in a Colorado jail for 25 days without an interpreter. That’s almost a month!
How did this Kafkaesque situation come to be? Mr. Siaki was staying in a motel with his fiancée, Kimberlee Moore. Ms. Moore is also deaf, and the couple communicates exclusively in American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is Mr. Siaki’s only mode of communication; he can neither read nor write English.
The couple got into a spat that was apparently not that serious but was quite loud. When hearing people fight, they are able to hear themselves, so they know exactly how loud they are being and can tone it down as necessary. Deaf people, on the other hand, can’t hear their own voices. So, it’s easy for them to end up screaming bloody murder without even being aware of it. Read more