Trivette v. Tennessee Department of Corrections
This lawsuit filed in March 2020 on behalf of six Deaf and hard of hearing people who are incarcerated in Tennessee Department of Corrections (“TDOC”) facilities challenges TDOC’s failure to provide effective communication to people who are Deaf and hard of hearing and enable them to access the same programs and services as non-disabled people.
Plaintiffs Kevin Trivette, Jason Collins, Alex White, and Lakeevious Owens are all deaf and primarily use American Sign Language (“ASL”) to communicate. Pamela Bingham and John Giles are hard of hearing and use assistive devices like hearing aids and captioning to communicate. TDOC repeatedly failed to provide plaintiffs ASL interpreters, videophones, and captioning, for things like medical appointments, jobs and required programs, religious services, and parole hearings, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504).