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Judge Allows Visually Impaired Law Student to Use Screenreader Software for Multistate Ethics Exam

Posted Aug 3, 2011 8:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Corrected: A visually impaired student at Vermont Law School will be able to use screenreader software for her multistate ethics exam as a result of a federal judge’s ruling.

Deanna Jones of Middlesex, Vt., will use the software when she takes the exam on Friday, report the Associated Press and WCAX.com.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss granted a preliminary injunction allowing Jones to use the software that enlarges font size and reads text aloud. Jones says the software has allowed her to maintain a high B average in law school. She says that, because she is visually impaired and has an auditory learning disability, she needs to see enlarged text as it is read to her, the WCAX story says.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners had fought Jones’ computer request, saying a test taker could copy the test onto his or her laptop. The group instead offers Braille, large-print and audio versions of its test.

Corrected at 10:14 a.m. to state that Jones is a student at Vermont Law School.

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