Deaf Medical Student Sues His Medical School to Get Accommodations

Deaf Medical Student Sues His School For Not Providing Accomodations

Michael Argenyi, a deaf medical student at Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Neb., borrowed thousands of dollars to pay for Communication Access Real Time Translation (CART) because his school refused to pay for those services, according  to Jan. 18, 2013 press release from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell).  The case,  Argenyi v. Creighton, was supported by three organizations that support the interests of people with hearing loss: AG Bell; National Disability Rights Network and Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses.

CART is a service where people who are deaf or hard of hearing can read spoken language on a computer monitor or other at the same time when people speak in the room.  A CART writer provides instant translation of the spoken word into a written format using a stenotype machine.


Photo: Courtesy of AG Bell Association

In 1993, President George Bush I passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),  comprehensive civil rights legislation to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and to provide accommodations in schools and other settings.  The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 also serves to prohibit discrimination and provide accommodations for people with disabilities in education, employment and other places.  Yet. Creighton refused to accommodate Argenyi’s request for CART.  Creighton only provided an FM system, interpreter and notetaker—which did not help Argenyi to keep up with the medical vocabulary.

Therefore, Argenyi sued Creighton to force the school to provide accommodations at their expense.  Creighton won the case initially with the district court, but in an unanimous decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that a lower federal court should not have granted the summary judgement to dismiss the lawsuit.  To see the court brief, visit


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