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MUN VP sided with hearing impaired student in 1996


A hearing impaired woman who had a MUN professor refuse to wear a sound-transmitting device in 1996 has contacted The Telegram.

There has been much outcry this week over current MUN student, William Sears, who had a history professor refuse to wear a sound-transmitting device he needs his proffs to wear in order to hear them properly. The professor - Ranee Panjabi - cited religious reasons for not wearing the device.

This wasn’t the first time Panjabi has refused to wear such a device, though.

Related story:

Loud support for hearing-impaired student

In 1996, she made the same claim when then MUN student, Nancy (Parsons) McDonald, was in her class.

Now McDonald has contacted The Telegram with the original letter that was sent to her from the vice-president of MUN at the time after she complained that Panjabi’s refusal was discriminatory. In the letter, the VP says that Panjabi was wrong to refuse to wear the device and that a student’s access and right to an education is what trumps any personal belief or preference. However, a CBC story on the subject quotes Cecilia Reynolds - deputy provost students at MUN -  as saying MUN made a deal with Panjabi 20 years ago that she didn’t have to wear the device.

Sears, the student who had the same run in with Panjabi last week, was forced to take another course.

You can read the 1996 letter in its entirety here.

 josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

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