YAKIMA, Wash. — A federal judge has ordered Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima to accommodate a deaf student this fall after the man filed a lawsuit claiming the school discriminated against him by withdrawing his acceptance.
In a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Salvador Mendoza said PNWU’s defense that accepting the student, Zachary Featherstone, would be a fundamental change for the university was “wholly speculative” and lacking in merit.
“The patient safety and clinical program concerns raised by PNWU are unfounded, based upon the growing trend of successful deaf health care professionals,” Mendoza wrote. “While PNWU is a small, new medical school, when they opened their doors to providing students an education, they, like other schools, have to obey legal obligations that come with providing those services.”
The injunction was granted after oral arguments Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Eastern District, in Yakima.
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