As you know, HEARD has been on the front lines advocating for nationwide videophone installation in jails and prisons for six years.
This morning, we received a call from a Deaf community member incarcerated in Georgia letting us know that after years of all-volunteer advocacy from HEARD & our incarcerated community on the inside, videophones will finally be installed on November 28th. This call today was facilitated through a hearing incarcerated individual. We are thankful that beginning next week dozens of our Community members in Georgia will finally have access to a videophone.
Also, this summer, we received this video message and we wanted to share it with you all. After YEARS of advocacy, California has finally installed a videophone for #DeafInPrison. HEARD is honored to share this video of Scott Robertson, a Deaf man housed in California who has been on the front lines of the #PhoneJustice struggle with us for four years organizing our #DDBDDHH Community from the inside. If you have read any of HEARD’s FCC comments, Scott and our community members incarcerated with him are prominently featured (as well as comments from many of their deaf & hearing loved ones). Before HEARD became heavily involved in this struggle, Scott and others at this prison had been working to get a videophone since the early 2000’s. Scott called HEARD first to say thank you and show us that the VP is up and running.
As a result of all our collective efforts, over 60 DDBDDHH prisoners finally have a videophone! California plans to install more videophones in other prisons which means that hundreds of people will now have telecommunications access. We hope this moves more of our Community to get more involved in this important advocacy. There is still more work to do in California as many prisons don’t have vps or other telecomm equipment and there are still connectivity issues between different VP companies.
Most states still have not installed VPs in jails or prisons so we need our communities to help advocate for VP installation in every state jail and prison.
For more information about our Phone Justice Campaign, visit: http://bit.ly/pwdphonejustice
Remember to share this video using #DeafInPrison &#PhoneJustice.
But this is what we are thankful for on this day:
Our selfless volunteers;
#NODAPL Water Protectors and other tireless activists across the globe; our incarcerated community & their loved ones; JUSTICE.
[Video Abstract & Transcript: Video of a white man in a white crewneck t-shirt. His hair is grayed. This is Scott Robertson. I wanted to call and thank you for all of your help in getting a videophone successfully installed here, as well as, all the hard work and effort it took to make this happen. Great job! Everyone here is happy now! Thank you.]