Disability Law

Blind Law Grad Sues Bar Exam Group, Seeks OK to Use Screen Reader

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Although she is legally blind, Stephanie Enyart earned her law degree with the help of software that enlarges her computer screen and converts text to audio.

And, when the 32-year-old graduate of the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law asked state bar officials for permission to use the same software to take the lawyer licensing exam, they readily agreed. But, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the National Conference of Bar Examiners said Enyart could use only the audio text reader, not the screen magnifier, on the standardized multistate portion of the exam, Patty Fisher writes in a San Jose Mercury News column.

Disability Rights Advocates filed suit this month on Enyart’s behalf and staff attorney Anna Levine calls the NCBE’s refusal to let her use the screen magnifier on the bar exam “bizarre.” The group already supplies blind law grads with laptops equipped with audio text converter software for bar exam purposes, and would also be willing to add the screen magnifer for Enyart.

A spokeswoman for the NCBE declined to comment when contacted by Fisher.

The Mercury News says Enyart is seeking a court order that she and others can use the screen-enlarging software on the bar exam rather than monetary damages.

Earlier related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Advocacy Group for Blind Sues Law School Admissions Council”

ABAJournal.com: “Grad Without a Credit Card Passes Bar Exam After Suing to Take the Test”

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