Failure to Accommodate Disability (Macular Degeneration) Claim Survives Summary Judgment

In Allen v. A.R.E.B.A. Casriel, Inc., 2017 WL 4046127 (S.D.N.Y., 2017), the court held that plaintiff’s failure-to-accommodate-disability claim survived summary judgment.[1]The court dismissed, however, plaintiff’s claims of age and race discrimination.

From the decision:

Defendants concede that Plaintiff was disabled and that ACI was aware of Plaintiff’s macular degeneration. (Def. 56.1 ¶ 25). Defendants argue they provided a reasonable accommodation by permitting Plaintiff to use a CCTV monitor — which, they acknowledge, she secured on her own — to fill out the paperwork that CASACs were required to complete. (Id. at ¶ 26). While Plaintiff agrees this accommodation was initially sufficient, she argues that after ACI implemented new electronic forms in 2014, she needed two new accommodations: (i) software that could enlarge the text of the new forms on her computer, and (ii) training sessions during which she could view both hard copy and electronic documents in order to understand ACI’s new forms. (Id. at ¶ 27; Pl. Opp. 2). The Court finds that Plaintiff has raised a genuine dispute of fact as to the reasonableness of Defendants’ accommodations.

The court noted, among other things, that the record was “murky, at best, about why Defendants did not successfully install ZoomText software on Plaintiff’s computer after ACI switched to an electronic paperwork system in 2013”, and that there were “disputed facts regarding the sufficiency of ACI’s training on the new patient forms.”

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1. The court dismissed, however, plaintiff’s claims of age and race discrimination.