Settlement conference set for January in lawsuit brought by deaf inmates in Kentucky

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LAGRANGE, Kentucky — A settlement conference has been scheduled in a lawsuit brought by a pair of deaf and hearing-impaired inmates in Kentucky who are seeking to force the Department of Corrections to provide interpreter services for medical visits, video phones that allow deaf callers to see sign language and other hearing devices.

The conference is scheduled for Jan. 27 at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange.

Inmates Oscar Adams and Michael Knights are seeking class-action status to represent all hearing-impaired inmates in the state system.

There are no solid statistics on how many inmates in Kentucky are hearing impaired or deaf. About one percent of the general population is estimated to have a significant hearing loss, but no one tracks nationally the number of people in prison who have the issue.

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