SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Nyman Turkish PC, a national litigation and disability law firm, filed suit today in federal court against the Michigan High School Athletic Association on behalf of Ellis Kempf, a deaf wrestler for Royal Oak High School.
At issue is the MHSAA’s refusal to allow an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter mat-side to relay coaching instructions and strategies during MHSAA-sanctioned matches. Last season during non-sanctioned matches, Ellis, 18, used an ASL interpreter provided by the school district. The lawsuit seeks an emergency injunction against the MHSAA to prevent it from barring the interpreter this season.
Ellis, 18, is captain of the Royal Oak Ravens and wrestles in the 152-pound weight class. He has been deaf since the age of 2 due to meningitis. Cochlear implants allow him some hearing but he can’t wear the external components during matches, rendering him completely deaf.