Miami University of Ohio, Feds Complete Agreement in Blind Student’s Case - Higher Education

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Miami University of Ohio, Feds Complete Agreement in Blind Student’s Case

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by Associated Press

CINCINNATI ― Federal authorities said Monday they have completed an agreement with Miami University that resolves allegations in a blind student’s lawsuit that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Justice Department, the Ohio university and Aleeha Dudley jointly filed a motion in Cincinnati asking a U.S. District Court judge to approve a consent decree that requires Miami to provide people with disabilities an “equal opportunity” to benefit from the school’s services, programs and activities.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman planned a news conference Monday to discuss the agreement.

The decree grew from a lawsuit filed by Dudley, who accused Miami of using technology that presented a barrier to her education. The parties announced earlier they had settled the lawsuit, but they were continuing some negotiations.

The decree states that Miami denies that it violated the disabilities law and is committed to providing equal opportunity.

Dudley, who’s from New Paris, sued the university in 2014. Her lawsuit said course materials were inaccessible to her text-to-speech software and she hadn’t received material in Braille or other forms she could use without help. Her lawsuit also said Miami violated federal law by failing to provide equal access.

Dudley said her hopes of being admitted to a graduate program were jeopardized by lackluster grades she blamed on barriers to completing coursework. She said touchscreen systems used at Miami prevented her from ordering food or even doing laundry without help.

The Justice Department intervened in the lawsuit.

The university has about 15,000 undergraduate students at its campus in Oxford, 25 miles north of Cincinnati.

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