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March 19, 2015

A deaf man able to communicate only with sign language has alleged in a federal lawsuit that he was held for six weeks in the Arlington County jail last year after jailers failed to provide an interpreter or allow him to call attorneys or a friend by videophone.

The suit alleges that Abreham Zemedagegehu was held for more than 24 hours before he knew why he had been arrested. He was administered a tuberculosis shot without his consent, often went hungry because he couldn’t hear alerts for mealtime and was unable to call friends or an attorney because of inadequate technology in the jail — all of which violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the lawsuit said.

“The lack of access to communication during the booking process exacerbated the feelings of frustration, humiliation, anger, anxiety, isolation, confusion, and loss of dignity that Mr. Zeme­dagegehu otherwise would have experienced as a result of his arrest and detention,” said the lawsuit, which was first reported Thursday by the Associated Press.

Read More  . . . incommunicado

Related Article WJLA Ch 7News - Deaf immigrant jailed 6 weeks for I-pad theft with no access to interpreter


Arlington County DHS/CSB Public Forum
on the Budget for July 2014-June 2015
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 6 p.m.
George Mason Center Auditorium
1801 N. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22207
(parking in the rear)


  • Share your thoughts on the needs and priorities for the county’s human services budget (July 1, 2014 through
    June 30, 2015) at the Public Forum for the FY 2015 Budget.
  • Speakers are heard on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 3 minutes. Sign-up begins at 5:30 p.m. Speaker slips limited to two per person.

 To Request an Accommodation

If you need a sign language interpreter or other accommodation, contact Kelly Mauller at least 5 days in advance of the meeting. Phone: 703-228-5149 E-mail:

Submit written comments to:

Arlington Community Services Board
ATTN:  Farah Shakour
1725 N. George Mason Drive
Arlington, VA 22205
Fax: 703-228-5234

CSB Budget Annuncement for FY13 (PDF FILE)

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