Enabling Rights: Disability and Religion before the U.S. Supreme Court

Lecture Description

In 1988, the parents of a “profoundly deaf” boy named Jim Zobrest sued their public school district near Tucson, Arizona, to pay for a sign-language interpreter in a Catholic high school. The suburban district had not yet created a high school. With the famed Catholic attorney William Bentley Ball representing the Zobrests, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld a congressional law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Court determined that a child with a disability may receive government aid that only incidentally benefits a religiously affiliated institution. Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District (1993) provides an important opportunity to look at the intersection of religion, education, law, and disability.


Disability Legal and Constitutional

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