Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard Of Hearing – POST # 09053-0571

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This course was developed by the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association

with cooperation from the
Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office and the 
Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) 


This course is eligible for two hours of Certified Continuing Education
MN POST # 09053-0571.

Marlee Matlin on Deaf and Police Interaction
Marlee Matlin is an American actress, author, and activist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God and to date is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award. She is married to a police officer.

Course Overview:  

This “Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing” course is designed to introduce learners to the deaf culture and present effective communication strategies with members of this community. This course will increase your awareness and the necessity of all agency staff to effectively communicate with persons affected by hearing loss.

This eLearning course covers deaf culture, basic sign language for law enforcement, guidelines and tips for patrol and jail staff, legal responsibilities, and methods of communication will be introduced. We will learn how to work with interpreters and learn ways we can all work together to effectively communicate.

Legal staff will cover what the expectations are of the staff with regard to the Americans With Disability Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Minnesota Statutes.

Jessalyn Akerman-Frank

Jessalyn Akerman-Frank is a graduate of Gallaudet University with a BA in Communications and studies in Criminology. She has a Masters in Deaf Education from the University of Minnesota.  Jessalyn is a trained Domestic Violence/Survivor advocate and has over 15+ years of experience advocating for access and safety for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing survivors.  Jessalyn has written many grants since 2001 focusing on working with Law Enforcement. She has presented to law enforcement academies in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Chicago and several other states. She has experience developing with law enforcement communication protocol, discussing safety issues, working with child protection services, working in the court systems and corrections.  Jessalyn also works with Deaf prisoners by providing Anger Management and Domestic Abuse Classes in their native language.

Tarra Grammenos, M.S., SC:L, NIC Advanced

Tarra is a court and nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter. She holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology of Deviance, Associates Degree in ASL Interpreting, and a Graduate Certificate in Legal Interpreting. She also holds a Specialized Certification: Legal (SC:L) and National Interpreter Certification: Advanced (NIC Advanced) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).  Tarra works as freelance interpreter, workshop presenter, and conference planner.

Jen Hofschulte, Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office

Jen received her Associates Degree in Law Enforcement from Inver Hills Community College.  She has worked in the law Enforcement field for 6 years.  Most of Jen’s immediate family is deaf, including her parents, brother, nephew and grandparents.  Jen currently serves as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Coordinator for the Goodhue County Sheriff’s office and has shared her knowledge with sheriff’s staff around the state.  

James Andreen, Attorney at Law

Jim Andreen is a shareholder with Erstad & Riemer, P.A. His focus is civil litigation and appellate practice, concentrating in the areas of employment law, civil rights litigation, defense of governmental and corporate liability, and land use.  He was admitted to the bar in 1986 and regularly appears before the Minnesota state trial courts, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Federal District Court for the District of Minnesota, and the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Mr. Andreen was a cum laude graduate of Hamline University School of Law. He has presented before the Minnesota Bar Association Public Law Section, the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, the National Risk Managers Association Conference, the Minnesota Counties Human Resource Management Association/Minnesota Association of County Administrators Conference, and other groups on a number of topics.  Mr. Andreen represents employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights.