Deaf student takes plea for closed captioning at Poway High School directly to board of education

She has 1900 signatures on petition supporting her

SAN DIEGO - Delanie Harrington brought a sheaf of papers to the Monday evening meeting of the Poway Unified School District Board of Education.  She presented 1,900 signatures she gathered in a petition drive on website Change.com, demanding that she be provided real-time closed captioning in the classroom.

The Poway High School senior told the board, "I work very hard to get these good grades with very little assistance from the district. I come home exhausted and with headaches because I overextend myself, simply trying to listen. I do well because I choose to. My brain works, my ears don't."

Her parents requested the assistance before she was a freshman. It was refused and they sued, claiming discrimination; that if she needed help with American Sign Language, it would be there.

Tami Harrington, Delanie's mother, told 10News, "They foot the bill for ASL interpreters."

Delanie's father, Kevin Harrington, added, "It doesn't matter. It's a disability and it's classified as an interpretive service, just like ASL or through ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act); having to put ramps on for kids that need access with wheelchairs. Hers is the same difference."

The courts agreed with the Harringtons, but Poway Unified is appealing. 

This is Delanie's senior year. Tami Harrington said, "It's a waiting game and I'm sure they're just waiting and waiting until she graduates."

Jessica Wakefield is the director of communications for Poway Unified School District. 

"We cannot comment on pending litigation at this time," she said.

Delanie said she wanted the board to see her face. 

"I wanted to show them it's something I really care about, not only for me, but the other kids as well," she said. "I hope they got to see that."

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