Court: Blind student's lawsuit against university is settled

AP News
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Posted: Jan 15, 2016 6:51 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) — Attorneys have settled a federal lawsuit filed by a blind student who accused Miami University of using technology that presented a barrier to her education, court records show.

Attorneys for Aleeha Dudley and the university reached a settlement following mediation Friday, but it's subject to "modest continuing negotiations," according to U.S. District Court records posted online. Attorneys have to report back to the judge on Feb. 1.

The court records contain no other details of the settlement, and messages seeking comment were left with attorneys from both sides.

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.

The university, which has about 15,000 undergraduate students at its campus in Oxford, 25 miles north of Cincinnati, has denied it did anything wrong.

Dudley was a junior when she filed the lawsuit and was listed in the class of 2015, but her current status is unclear.

She has 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. She asked that Miami expunge her grades, pay her tuition and costs to repeat three academic years, pay her legal fees and other damages and provide court-determined relief.

Last May, the U.S. Department of Justice asked to intervene in the lawsuit, alleging the university violated the American with Disabilities Act against discrimination on the basis of disability.