Disability Law

Blind Law Student Sues to Win Permission to Use Screenreader Software on Multistate Ethics Exam

Corrected: A blind student at Vermont Law School has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Conference of Bar Examiners, seeking permission to use the same screenreader software she relies on in her studies on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

The NCBE and co-defendant Act Inc. offer a number of accommodations to the disabled including Braille, large-print and audio versions of the paper-and-pencil test. However, plaintiff Deanna Jones, 44, says they would put her at a disadvantage and prevent her from doing her best on the ethics test, reports the Associated Press.

“Whether I can pass with other accommodations is not the question,” she says, arguing that everyone wants to do their best on such tests. “Why should a disabled person be asked to do any less on an exam?”

The suit was brought on her behalf in U.S. District Court in Burlington by Dan Goldstein, who represents the National Federation of the Blind.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Blind Law Grads Sue Over Denied Use of Screen-Access Software on Multistate Bar Exam”

ABAJournal.com: “9th Circuit Rules Blind Law Grad Can Use Computer Aids, Despite Hacking Fears”

ABAJournal.com: “4 Law Schools Named in Suit By Blind Advocacy Group Over LSAC’s Online Law School Applications”

Corrected on Aug. 3 to state that Deanna Jones is a law student.


Corrected on Aug. 3 to state that Deanna Jones is a law student.

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