[Athen] Important Civil Rights Victory for Test Takers with Disabilities

Laurie Vasquez Vasquez at sbcc.edu
Thu Jan 6 10:17:38 PST 2011


Today is a landmark victory on behalf of a blind law school graduate against the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the administrator of a test virtually every law school graduate must take before getting a law license. NCBE refused to allow Stephanie Enyart, a blind 2009 UCLA Law School graduate, to use screen-reading computer software to take the "multistate" portion of the California bar exam. After she filed suit, a federal court in San Francisco issued an injunction in Stephanie's favor, and NCBE appealed.

In a groundbreaking opinion issued Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which hears federal appeals from much of the western United States, upheld Stephanie's right under the Americans with Disabilities Act to use the assistive software. The ruling is significant not only for blind law school graduates, but for every test-taker with a disability who needs accommodations on a test. For additional information on the opinion, please go to http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2011/01/04/10-15286.pdf

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