Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gally student Sues NPR

A Gallaudet student is suing NPR for discrimination. Catherine Nugent, who is deaf, was an intern at the national radio news organization last year. Nugent says she expected to be learning about marketing. Instead, the business administration major was told to train employees as to how to sign--even though she does not have ASL teaching certification. The suit says she "was tasked with developming lesson plans for, and teaching, a summer-long daily ASL class for NPR staff." Nugent's lawsuit says she realized she was being "misled" about her internship when it became clear that Nugent was hired, not to learn, but to promote the network's diversity as part of a public relations strategy "to build enthusiasm in the media for its new outreach programming targeting deaf persons.. NPR failed to meet its legal obligations in focusing" on this. NPR fired Nugent after she persisted in asking for accommodations, rather than providing her with interpreters or interpreting software. NPR declined comment. See the full lawsuit here.