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ACLU: Ref failed to accommodate deaf wrestler in title match

Spenser Mango
Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 19:38:05-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The American Civil Liberties Union is urging the Nebraska School Activities Association to revise its bylaws and discipline a referee whom it said failed to accommodate the communication needs of a deaf high school wrestler, potentially costing him a state championship.

The ACLU says it and the National Association of the Deaf issued a demand letter to the activities association.

Gering High School senior Paul Ruff was competing in the Nebraska State Wrestling Championship.

Ruff uses a cochlear implant but takes it out while wrestling.

His advocates say he missed warnings during the championship match because the referee wouldn’t lower his mask, which meant Ruff couldn’t read his lips.

He narrowly lost the match.

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