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ADA25: #7 of 25 -- America's First ADA Jury Trial (02:31)


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Do you know the first Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case? The NAD was involved and won! NAD Attorney Caroline Jackson shares some history behind the first case. View the entire #ADA25 series at

Video begins with an off white vintage background. Three black and white photos appear. First photo shows a group of people marching, one holds a NAD poster. Second photo shows another group of people marching, one holds a poster "We Shall Overcome." Third photo shows President Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Text appears "ADA25 -- Americans with Disabilities Act". Video flashes to white then to Caroline Jackson inside NAD Headquarters. On bottom left corner, "#ADA25" appears as a light watermark. On bottom right corner, the NAD logo appears, also as a light watermark. 

CAROLINE: Did you know that the first time a jury ever ruled on Title II ADA case it was an NAD case!? Here’s the story: Nadelle Grantham was one of five children in her family, the only deaf child, and the only child to go to college. She graduated at the top of her high school class and went off to Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) to major in elementary education. 

Even in college, she was a star student. Her grades got better and better every semester, and the teachers who worked with her thought she was excellent. By the end of her junior year, it looked like she was all set to go – just one year of student teaching, and she’d be ready to graduate.

Not so fast. Less than one week before the start of her senior year, she received a letter from the Dean of Southeastern Louisiana University. The Dean told her she was expelled from the program, citing concerns about her “profound hearing impairment.”

Nadelle was devastated and contacted the NAD for help. We sued. SLU resisted and the case went all the way to trial. When Nadelle told her story, the jury understood what she was explaining: she was talented, hard-working, and accomplished. Every teacher who worked with her knew this. But the administrators saw nothing but her deafness and their minds were made up. The jury found for Nadelle. It was a great victory for Nadelle and the NAD. 

We are proud of Nadelle for her hard work and determination, for standing up for her rights, and for showing above all that Deaf CAN!

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