The Landmark Law Case Of Amy V. Rowley

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The landmark law case is Board of Ed. of Hendrick Hudson Central School Dist., Westchester City. v. Rowley (Oyez, n.d.) Furnace Woods School refused to provide deaf student Amy Rowley with a sign language interpreter. Amy was an excellent lip reading and had minimal residual hearing. School administrators, along with a sign language expert, determined Amy was able to succeed in school without an interpreter. Amy’s parents sued the school on her behalf for violation of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. The district court ruled in the Rowleys' favor, holding that while Amy was doing better in school than the average hearing student, she was not achieving to her full potential because she was unable to understand as much as she would with a sign language interpreter. …show more content…

Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed (Imber, p. 316, 1993). Justice William H. Rehnquist delivered the opinion of the court, in a 6-3 decision, reversing the lower court decisions. The Supreme Court held that the Act does not require a school to provide a sign language interpreter to a deaf student when she is otherwise receiving personalized instruction and an adequate education. School administrations are allowed to determine what is required to meet students’ individual needs with a disability. Justice Harry A. Blackmun wrote a special concurrence, expressing that no interpreter was required because Amy was given the opportunity to learn and participate in the classroom in a way that was substantially equal to her non-handicapped classmates. Justice Byron R. White wrote a dissent, stating that the Act requires a school to provide a handicapped student with and education equal to non-handicapped children (Imber, p.

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