A class action lawsuit filed by a group of deaf Illinois prisoners has been given the green light by a federal judge, according to Equip for Equality. The suit alleges the Illinois Department of Corrections of systemic failure to provide accommodations to deaf and hard of hearing prisoners, including neglecting to provide sign language interpreters and other alternate forms of communication.

Equip for Equality contends without the services deaf and hard of hearing prisoners are endangered and deprived of meaningful access to religious services, healthcare, educational and vocational programs, telephones, televisions, library services, disciplinary proceedings, grievances, and pre-release programs. A spokesperson with the Illinois Department of Corrections says they do not comment on pending litigation.


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