Michigan man's settlement will open doors to law school for blind, visually impaired students

Posted at 10:18 AM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 13:26:00-04

(WXYZ) — A settlement sparked by a Michigan man will open the doors to law school for blind and visually impaired students across the country, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a press release.

Angelo Binno filed a federal lawsuit against the American Bar Association in 2011 for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. The Law School Admission Council reportedly denied his request to wave a section of the LSAT for his significant visual impairment.

When the original case was dismissed, Binno refiled against the testing company itself, LSAC.

On Monday, Binno reported a resolution to the lawsuit that was supported by the attorney general's department as an Amicus at the district court, Sixth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

“This announcement is a major victory for the blind and visually impaired communities and reinforces the importance of resiliency in the face of adversity,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “Equal rights for all who live in this state and this nation isn’t just common courtesy, it is the law – everyone is to be treated with fairness and equality.”

Two key provisions of the settlement include:

  • Working with Binno and his co-plaintiff, Shelesha Taylor, to identify additional accommodations they can use if they take the LSAT in the future, while maintaining the validity and integrity of the LSAT examination.
  • Initiating research and development for alternative ways to assess analytical reasoning skills – as part of a broader review of all question types – to determine how the fundamental skills for success in law school can be reliably assessed in an accessible manner.

LSAC will complete this work within the next four years.

“It is essential we have diversity and equity in every profession, and even more so in the profession that is designed to ensure our rights remain intact for all who live here,” Nessel added. “While Mr. Binno’s success marks a milestone for the blind and visually impaired communities, it reminds us there is more work to be done to ensure a level playing field for every person, regardless of disability.”