Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Appeals court reinstates students' lawsuits

An appeals court says two lawsuits against California school districts can move forward. We first told you about one of the cases last year in a post here, where administrators turned down requests for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) transcription services for two hard-of-hearing students in each districts. A lower court threw out the students' lawsuits, saying the decisions by the school districts were not a violation of ADA law, but this decision reinstates the suits. The lower court had ruled that since the schools met the standards of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), then they had also met the standards of ADA law. The appeals court rejected that reasoning.

One of the students is in the Poway school system close to San Diego and the other is in the Tustin school district, close to Los Angeles. Both want a stenographer to provide real-time captioning of conversations. Although the Tustin student would no longer benefit from a ruling in her favor, she is proceeding in hopes of helping those who come after her. In 2007, another California school system lost a bid to avoid providing CART captioning. You can read about that case here and find out more about the new decision here.