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Eighth Circuit Revives Deaf Lifeguard’s Disability Claim

A deaf individual who could detect noises through the use of a cochlear implant and who used American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate successfully completed two lifeguard training programs through the county. Though he had an ASL interpreter to communicate verbal instructions, the interpreter did not assist him in executing lifesaving tasks. The individual applied for and was conditionally offered a lifeguard position subject to him passing a pre-employment physical. The doctor, however, determined that because the individual was deaf, he could not be a lifeguard, unless he was constantly accommodated. The county then undertook a job task analysis to determine whether the individual could perform the job with or without accommodation, and because it was uncertain whether the individual could safely work as a lifeguard by himself, the offer of employment was revoked. More ›

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