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April 19, 2003

Deaf woman sues nursing home for pulling job offer

From: Canton Repository, OH - Apr 19, 2003

By The Associated Press

CINCINNATI - A woman who says a job offer was rescinded because she is deaf is suing the care facility that denied her employment.

Janet McBride, 36, says she had no problem caring for her two children and an aging grandmother. But after getting an offer for an $8-an-hour job helping residents of a retirement home, the offer was withdrawn because an administrator told her that she wouldn't be able to handle an emergency.

McBride has sued Cottingham Retirement Community alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

McBride, who can read lips, sobbed in court Thursday when talking about being denied the job.

"It made me feel like I was nothing," said McBride, who has been deaf since she was 3.

The case goes back to 2000, when McBride applied to be a resident assistant at Cottingham in suburban Sharonville. A resident assistant helps residents with baths, opening medicine bottles and other routine chores.

"I did have concerns about her ability to communicate with residents during an emergency, like a fire. (She would have) to let residents know what they needed to do," Shelly Owens, the facility administrator at the time, said during her testimony.

McBride first filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found probable cause that Cottingham had violated the law.

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