The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), along with the law firm of Stein & Vargas and Disability Rights Nebraska, secured an important victory on January 15th, 2013, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit which reversed and remanded in favor of a deaf medical student. Michael Argenyi, a student who began attending medical school at Creighton University in 2009, requested that Creighton University provide him with real time captioning for classes and oral interpreters for clinics. Creighton refused to provide him with such services and also refused to allow Mr. Argenyi to bring interpreters even if he paid for the interpreters himself.
With NAD and the other lawyers representing Mr. Argenyi, a lawsuit was filed against Creighton in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. The District Court dismissed Mr. Argenyi’s case and ruled that Mr. Argenyi had not demonstrated that medical school was beyond his capacity without captioning or interpreting services.
However, Mr. Argenyi appealed the case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and asked that the District Court’s ruling be reversed. The Eighth Circuit Court agreed with Mr. Argenyi and his lawyers, and remanded the case back to the District Court, holding that “Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title III of the ADA each require Creighton to provide reasonable auxiliary aids and services to afford Argenyi ‘meaningful access’ or an equal opportunity to gain the same benefit as his nondisabled peers.”
While the case is not over, reversal and remand on appeal is an important victory that will help students achieve meaningful access to higher education. Mr. Argenyi’s case now goes back to the District Court of Nebraska for trial.
“This case further defines what it means to receive access. Not only must entities promote inclusion, entities must provide meaningful access,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association for the Deaf.
For more information, contact Marc Charmatz at the National Association of the Deaf via email at [email protected] or telephone at 301-587-1788, or Mary Vargas at Stein & Vargas, LLP by email at [email protected] or telephone at (240)793-3185.