Million Dollar Settlement Highlights Need to Accommodate Students with Hearing Loss

GRANDVIEW, WASHINTON—a rural school district in Washington state has settled a Federal Civil Rights case for $1 million dollars according to a recent news release. According to the report, the Grandview School District had claimed that student José Garcia was at fault for his inability to learn, due to “ineffective use” of hearing aids. Additionally…

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Bill would create a demonstration program for deaf/hard-of-hearing U.S. Air Force members

    By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC—Since its enactment in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has made public accommodations, telecommunications technology, and the workplace more accessible to countless people with hearing loss. For example, just last month, the New York Police Department, following the lead of departments around the country, opened its…

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NYPD settles suit by lifting ban on cops using hearing aids

By David H. Kirkwood Two veteran New York Police Department (NYPD) officers’ 5-year legal battle to return to active duty wearing their hearing aids ended in victory on March 9 when they agreed to a settlement of the suit they had filed against the City of New York in 2010. It was a victory not…

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Drug store chain agrees to improve access for people with hearing loss

    NEW YORK—Customers with hearing loss will soon be able to communicate better with pharmacists at the 101 Kinney Drugs stores in New York State.   Under an agreement announced March 12 by NYS Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman, each Kinney Drugs store will provide assistive listening systems and qualified sign-language interpreters, as required by law.…

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OSHA says, company exposed worker to 8 hours of noise as loud as a jackhammer

WESTON, OH—The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has charged that MCM Precision Castings, Inc., exposed an employee to noise levels averaging 97 dB, equivalent to the noise of a jackhammer, over his eight-hour shift. According to an OSHA news release issued on January 17, an inspection of the company’s foundry in Weston, OH,…

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Connecticut city rules that hearing aids should be no bar to police work

BRIDGEPORT, CT—Vincenzo Mirci, a 9-year military veteran, won the right to pursue his goal of becoming a police officer when, last November, the Bridgeport Civil Service Commission overturned an earlier decision by the city that he could not serve because he was unable to pass a hearing test without the hearing aid he wears in…

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EEOC charges FedEx Ground discriminated against hearing-impaired workers

BALTIMORE—Are you a deaf or hard-of-hearing person who has worked as a package handler for FedEx Ground since 2006 or applied for such a position? Probably not, but if you are and you feel that the company, discriminated against you, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to hear about it. On October 10,…

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NYC cops who were forced to retire for wearing hearing aids will get their day in court

By David H. Kirkwood NEW YORK–Two former New York City police officers–Jim Phillips and Dan Carione–will have a chance to prove at trial that they should not have been forced to retire because they wore hearing aids—hearing aids that the New York Police Department (NYPD) paid for. As previously discussed on this blog, Carione, now aged…

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The ADA offers hearing-impaired inmates protection from discrimination

People who are deaf or hard of hearing make up one of the largest populations that are helped by various provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One subset of that population that is protected by the ADA consists of people with hearing loss who are in prison. This week, while I am on…

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Boston cop who says she’s heard well with hearing aids for 15 years, is forced out

By David H. Kirkwood BOSTON—Boston Police Detective Delores Facey is the latest cop to be forced into retirement because of hearing loss, even though she insists that with hearing aids, which she has worn for the past 15 years, she is fully capable of performing her duties. The officer, a 19-year veteran of the department,…

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