Southeastern Community College v. Davis, Court Case

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Full Title:

Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397


Respondent, who suffers from a serious hearing disability, seeks to be trained as a registered nurse. During the 1973- 1974 academic year she was enrolled in the College Parallel program of Southeastern Community College, a state institution that receives federal funds. Respondent hoped to progress to Southeastern’s Associate Degree Nursing program, completion of which would make her eligible for state certification as a registered nurse. In the course of her application to the nursing program, she was interviewed by a member of the nursing faculty. It became apparent that respondent had difficulty understanding questions asked, and on inquiry she acknowledged a history of hearing problems and dependence on a hearing aid. She was advised to consult an audiologist.

Based on these findings, the District Court concluded that respondent was not an “otherwise qualified handicapped individual” protected against discrimination by § 504. In its view, “otherwise qualified, can only be read to mean otherwise able to function sufficiently in the position sought in spite of the handicap, if proper training and facilities are suitable and available.” 424 F. Supp., at 1345. Because respondent’s disability would prevent her from functioning “sufficiently” in Southeastern’s nursing program, the court held that the decision to exclude her was not discriminatory within the meaning of § 504.

Source Citation:

Southeastern Community College v. Davis. 1979. 442 US 397 (U.S. 1979).

Cite this page:

N/A. 1979. "Southeastern Community College v. Davis, Court Case." History of Higher Education.