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May 5, 2004

Deaf Woman Claims Discrimination by Store

From: WOAI - San Antonio,TX,USA - May 5, 2004

Posted By: Walker Robinson

A deaf woman says all she wanted was a new television, but now, she is accusing Conn's electronics store of discrimination.

Susan Donahue claims the manager at Conn's told her they would not take her phone calls. She uses a relay service to communicate over phone lines.

Donahue says she was looking for information on Conn's big screen televisions. She says when she called them up, a store employee told her they do not accept deaf people. The employee's exact words actually printed out of Donahue's relay machine.

Donahue went straight to the manager in person.

"He said, that's what we're trained to do," Donahue told News 4 WOAI, "not to accept deaf calls."

When News 4 WOAI went to visit with Donahue's printout, we got a different story. First, the manager told us Donahue's story was not true. Then when we showed him the printout, he asked us to leave the store.

The president of Conn's told News 4 by phone, Donahue is right.

"It's very unfortunate that our people acted that way," Conn's president said and promised corrective action.

Donahue says she is not looking to get anyone in trouble, just to get equal treatment for the deaf. The president of Conn's also said he thinks the employee who hung up on donohue mistakenly thought she was a caller who had been trying to make fraudulent orders at the store.

© 2004 Clear Channel Communications