More On Stuttering As A Disability
Posted June 17, 2011on:
A very timely and interesting article was written this week at Cincinatti.com about a police officer who stutters who is being reassigned. He believes his reassignment will endanger his life and others, as he will not be as effective in his road patrol role.
Because of his stuttering, Ken Parson would likely have trouble quickly yelling “Stop, police!” to a bad guy or calling “Officer needs assistance!”, in part, because Parson’s stuttering gets worse when he’s under stress.
Parson also would have a hard time gaining respect from suspects if he stutters. “The attitude might be: ‘No way, I’m not stopping for a stutterer.'”
In his role as a detective, Parson’s speech impediment worked in his favor. His stuttering has disarmed some suspects into confessing.
Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Parson is entitled to a “reasonable accommodation” of his disability. But Parson is not seeking anything other than keeping his current role.
“What they’re doing is removing the accommodation by moving him from his detective job, which he functions very well in, and onto road patrol. That decision is inconsistent with safety.” Parson has retained a lawyer and is fighting the reassignment.
This will be interesting to follow and see how the law and the ADA respond to this case, where indeed stuttering is a disability in Parson’s job as a police officer. This article was a great follow-up to my recent post on “Who Gets To Make The Choice?”
In this case, I definitely believe this officer’s stuttering is a disability that requires reasonable accommodation in order for him to perform his job effectively and safely.
What do you think? Thoughts? Comments? Let’s continue the discussion.