White House Author
Talila A. Lewis
Talila A. Lewis is an activist-attorney whose advocacy and research primarily focus on creating equal access to the legal system for individuals who are deaf and people with disabilities. As the creator of the only national database of deaf prisoners, Talila advocates with and for hundreds of deaf defendants, prisoners and returned citizens, and trains justice, legal, and corrections professionals about varied disability-related concerns. Talila leads intersectional campaigns that advance the rights of multiply-marginalized people, including the #DeafInPrison Campaign, the Deaf Prisoner Phone Justice Campaign, and the American Civil Liberties Union’s "Know Your Deaf Rights" Campaign. Talila founded and directs Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), an organization that works to correct and prevent deaf wrongful convictions, end abuse of incarcerated people with disabilities; decrease recidivism rates for deaf returned citizens; and increase representation of the deaf in the justice, legal and corrections professions.