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Minnesota Disability Law Center

A couple of friends of mine recently bought a Smart car. A word of warning for those of you considering a similar purchase: You need to build in extra travel time. It isn’t that the Smart is underpowered. It’s simply that if anyone is around as you get into or out of your car, you’re going to be spending some time in conversation.

I’ve seen this in action. While at a wedding reception this summer, I saw my friends pull up in their new car. About five minutes later, I got to wondering where they were. They were still by the car, chatting with a fairly large group of people. About another five minutes passed before they showed up at the reception.

“That was cool!”

The cool part wasn’t that people had been interested in the car. The cool part was that my friend had enough sign language to understand and answer their questions. The large crowd was because, well, the deaf group picnicking near us wasn’t likely to find another Smart owner able to answer their questions any time soon.

It’s kind of a funny story when it’s a car. It’s much less funny when it’s a hospital visit. The woman in the following video is my friend’s aunt and the reason she knows a respectable amount of sign language. She, and the group featured in the video are the reason deaf people visiting Minnesota hospital rooms don’t have to wait for someone like my friend to come along.

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