The Baltimore Sun’s article covered how three-time swimming gold medalist Becca Meyers will not travel to Tokyo for the 2021 Paralympic Games, because the deaf-blind Timonium resident’s mother will not be allowed to accompany her as an aide under COVID-19 restrictions.
Meyers’s case is “heartbreaking” but complex legally because of questions regarding jurisdiction and reasonable accommodation, said Andy Levy. He noted the ADA is full of “wiggle words.”
“What’s reasonable, What’s an ‘undue burden?’… Even if a judge believed the U.S. Olympic Committee had dropped the ball, they may feel that it’s not within their power, that there’s sort of no injunction the court could issue that would change [the situation],” said Andy Levy.
Eve Hill, former senior disability rights attorney in the Department of Justice, said, “it certainly seems ridiculous that they would say allowing her to have a personal care attendant is impossible… It’s clearly not impossible.”
This case already has drawn attention from fellow Paralympians and elected leaders. Andy Levy and Eve Hill have handled many cases involving the Americans with Disabilities Act and they provide valuable perspectives. With their experience, we hope these conversations can spread awareness on the issue and prevent this from happening to any future athletes.