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October 10, 2003

Catholic office may appeal against deaf ruling

From: ABC Online, Australia - Oct 10, 2003

The Catholic Education Office is considering appealing against a Federal Court ruling that a Canberra high school discriminated against a profoundly deaf boy.

The court has awarded 16-year-old Jacob Clarke $26,000 in damages after MacKillop Catholic College refused to provide him tuition through sign language.

The court found Jacob would have suffered distress after the school only offered an assistant to take notes for the teenager during class.

But Michael Gaffney from the Catholic Education Office says the ruling is disappointing.

"The payments of any costs will obviously come at a cost to the provision of other services including those for students with special needs.

"We'll look very carefully with our lawyers at the terms of the judgment and make a decision and take an action about that in due course," he said.

© 2003 Australian Broadcasting Corporation