We WON! Earlier this year, we went to the US Supreme Court with Disability Rights Michigan, Latham & Watkins, and Ellen Saideman, to represent a Deaf man, Miguel Luna Perez, who grew up in a public school district without any access to sign language interpreters or accommodations. All nine Supreme Court Justices voted in favor of Miguel! Today, we celebrate a powerful victory and continue our fight.
[VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT] NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum stands in front of a NAD logo inside the NAD Headquarters lobby.
HOWARD: We WON! Along with other lawyers and law firms, we represent Miguel Luna Perez in a case that was brought to the United States Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court has announced its ruling in favor of Miguel! In fact, all nine of the Supreme Court Justices ruled for Miguel without any dissent. Wow! This is a powerful victory. Miguel did not get a meaningful education, and we sued the school district for him under the special education law — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the IDEA. On behalf of Miguel, we settled that case with the school district. However, we weren’t satisfied and believed that the school district also violated Miguel’s ADA rights. We sued the school district under the ADA, but the court rejected our case and said we have to exhaust the IDEA. We argued that the ADA is completely separate from the IDEA but the court did not agree with us. We then appealed but the appellate court also rejected our case. We appealed to the Supreme Court and finally we prevailed. The Supreme Court agreed with us that the IDEA and the ADA are separate laws and that we could pursue the ADA case for access issues independently of the IDEA case which focuses on special education. That is now final and clear, all school districts are now on notice that they are responsible for compliance with both laws — the IDEA and the ADA, rather than relying on the IDEA and avoiding the ADA. At this point, we are going back to the original court that denied the ADA case and will start working on that case. We will share more information on that ADA case for Miguel as it develops. Nonetheless, we WON this huge Supreme Court case!]