Burriola v. Greater Toledo YMCA
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
133 F. Supp. 2d 1034 (2001)
Jordan Burriola was a child with autism and was admitted to the daycare program (program) operated by YMCA of Greater Toledo (YMCA) (defendant). YMCA notified Melissa Burriola (plaintiff), Jordan’s mother, of several instances of Jordan exhibiting inappropriate behavior, including violent and destructive behaviors on occasions when Jordan became extremely frustrated. Burriola informed YMCA of ways to work successfully with Jordan. The suggested modifications included preparing a daily schedule for Jordan, which would require a few minutes to make; watching Jordan’s behavior for warning signs of frustration, such as louder verbal communication, increased arm and leg movement, and crying sounds; using signs as visual signals (visuals), instead of auditory commands, to redirect Jordan’s behavior; and using a break card to direct Jordan to use a quiet break place. The visuals and break-card supports were provided to YMCA for free, and free training was made available to YMCA counselors. The training required two and a half hours. According to Burriola, the use of a schedule would prevent Jordan from becoming frustrated and exhibiting the warning signs. The suggested modifications were not implemented. Additionally, after counselors who had received training left the program, no additional counselors were trained. After 20 months, YMCA terminated Jordan from the program. Burriola brought an action against YMCA under the Americans with Disabilities Act (act) for unlawfully terminating Jordan from the program based on his disability. Burriola moved for a preliminary injunction requiring YMCA to make appropriate modifications and reinstate Jordan in the program. YMCA’s daycare facility was a place of public accommodation under the act.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carr, J.)
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