I read with sadness Mr Blackwell suggesting deaf people who commit crimes, should be able to play the 'Deaf Card' as some sort of get out of free jail option.
The deaf community is not about lobbying for exceptions to rules everyone else has to follow, it's about equality. I share Mr Blackwell's concern about support whilst in Jail.
The issue with this particular crime of fraud, was that it undermined the basic principles of fair play and rights deaf people lobby for, i.e. a level playing field. AtW funding is a hot potato in regards to support deaf people into work, it's a VERY expensive aspect to do that, and the people jailed stole £1,000,000s worth of funding that could have created jobs for many deaf people.
This wasn't a victim-less crime, it was one that robbed deaf people directly. Suggestions only the state took a loss was false, we all did as a result of this fraud, and without paying for that, we endorse an attitude some deaf can get away with anything they like on 'access' grounds, so the abuse not only denied deaf people a job, and undermined their integrity as a culture, it is suggested carry on breaking the law, playing the deaf card AND abusing the very access we fight so hard for.
By all means lobby they get their signed support, do NOT excuse what they do, or suggest they should get away with it.... By the same tokens expressed, if the fraudsters had all been hearing, all hell would have broken loose, so duality too... sad.
These people profited by denying us, had holidays and expensive cars, and homes, crime must pay. More so with these people they were pretending to act as our support. There are more than a few other deaf who want the key thrown away i.e. after they got locked up !