GIRL SCOUTS SUED FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER
Lawsuit filed by Equip for Equality, National Association of the Deaf and Much Shelist P.C. on a pro bono basis
CHICAGO (August 2, 2012) – Megan Runnion, a 12 year-old girl who is deaf, filed a federal lawsuit against the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana seeking to secure an American Sign Language interpreter for meetings of her Girl Scout troop. The lawsuit, brought under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was filed in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois.
Megan joined Girl Scouts when she was in kindergarten. For six years, she was provided with a sign language interpreter by Girl Scouts for troop meetings and outings. But last fall, when Megan’s mother renewed the request for the interpreter, the Girl Scouts denied her request. Rather than providing the requested interpreter services, Megan’s troop was disbanded.
“Megan is heartbroken that she can no longer participate in Girl Scouts,” said Edie Runnion, Megan’s mother. “All of the children in our family have been involved in scouting, and it is devastating for Megan that she is being prevented from being a Girl Scout.”
“Entities that receive federal funding, like the Girl Scouts, are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities,” said Steven Blonder, lead counsel in the case and a partner at Much Shelist, PC, which is handling the case on a pro bono basis. “The Girl Scout’s denial of a sign language interpreter is a clear violation of federal law and our lawsuit seeks to rectify this injustice.”
The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is the largest Girl Scout Council in the country with net assets that exceed $28 million. Its stated mission is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” and to create programs for “girls of all age levels, races, ethnicities, beliefs, economies, geographies and physical abilities.”
Reference: U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, and Chicago
Case No. 1:12-cv-06066
Runnion v. Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
A copy of the Complaint can be found at: www.equipforequality.org
|Click on the link(s) below to open the attached files.|
|Law Bulletin Article on Runnion Complaint 8-6-12.pdf||380.9KB|
|Runnion Complaint Filed.pdf||590.3KB|
|Runnion Press Release Final.docx||OCX||242.0KB|
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