723 Fed.Appx. 194 (4th Cir. 2018), 16-2435, Smith v. Loudoun County Public Schools

Docket Nº:16-2435
Citation:723 Fed.Appx. 194
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:Adonia K. SMITH, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. LOUDOUN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Defendant-Appellee.
Attorney:Timothy Lawrence Coffield, COFFIELD PLLC, Keswick, Virginia, for Appellant. Julia Bougie Judkins, BANCROFT, MCGAVIN, HORVATH & JUDKINS, PC, Fairfax, Virginia, for Appellee.
Judge Panel:Before WILKINSON, TRAXLER, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 01, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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Page 194

723 Fed.Appx. 194 (4th Cir. 2018)

Adonia K. SMITH, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

LOUDOUN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 16-2435

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

March 1, 2018

Argued: January 25, 2018

UNPUBLISHED

Editorial Note:

Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. (See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1)

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. James C. Cacheris, Senior District Judge. (1:15-cv-00956-JCC-TCB).

Timothy Lawrence Coffield, COFFIELD PLLC, Keswick, Virginia, for Appellant.

Julia Bougie Judkins, BANCROFT, MCGAVIN, HORVATH & JUDKINS, PC, Fairfax, Virginia, for Appellee.

Before WILKINSON, TRAXLER, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.

Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

PER CURIAM:

Adonia Smith appeals a district court order granting summary judgment against her on her claims against Loudoun County Public Schools for wrongful discharge and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), see 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. Finding no error, we affirm.

I.

Loudoun County (Virginia) School District hired Smith in August 2007 as a teacher of special education for the hearing impaired at Frances Hazel Reid Elementary School. Smith has been profoundly deaf since birth— she hears nothing, cannot speak, and cannot read lips. Smith is fluent in American Sign Language ("ASL"). It is her first and primary language, with English being her second. She was assigned to teach several hearing-impaired students. A large part of her job was drafting and managing the Individualized Education Plans ("IEPs") for the students.

Loudoun attempted to accommodate Smith’s disability in various ways. For scheduled events, such as staff meetings, parent-teacher conferences, IEP meetings, and other employer-sponsored events, Loudoun provided ASL interpreters through a contract with an interpreter-placement company, WeInterpret. Smith could also request a WeInterpret interpreter outside of scheduled events. Smith claimed, however, that the interpreters occasionally did not show up and often were not competent when they did appear.

Another accommodation issue involved informal communication between Smith and people in different rooms or buildings. To accommodate Smith’s need to verbally communicate with such people, Loudoun installed a video relay phone in Smith’s class and another in a workroom across the hall in spring 2009. That phone allowed Smith to sign ASL into a screen linked to an interpreter who would verbally translate through a standard phone line. In her first two years at the school, Smith also benefited from working in the same classroom as a colleague who was fluent in ASL and from having an instructional assistant who was nearly fluent in ASL.

Smiths initial time at the...

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