A couple from Austin, Texas, has filed a class action lawsuit against the city, saying they were unable to attend their daughter’s graduation because she was denied admission.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Austin.
The couple, who have not been identified, filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and their daughter, who graduated in July from the University of Texas at Austin.
They allege that city officials denied their daughter admission because of her age and disability, and because she had a birth defect that made her unable to walk.
“Because of the severity of her disability, the City has not been able to provide her with an appropriate, suitable, and accessible public accommodation to participate in the graduation ceremony,” the lawsuit said.
The complaint claims that city employees did not respond to requests for assistance.
The city has not commented on the lawsuit.
In a statement Wednesday, the city said it takes the safety and well-being of all residents seriously.
“The City of Austin has strict policies in place to ensure the safety of all its residents, and we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone, including people with disabilities,” the statement said.
“Our safety officers routinely monitor the physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral needs of our residents and ensure that their rights are protected.
We continue to do so as a city that values inclusion, fairness and inclusion of all citizens, regardless of their disability.”
The Austin City Council voted in February to add a requirement for all public accommodations to require someone with a disability to use a wheelchair or assistive device.
“When it comes to our public accommodations, there is no way to discriminate,” said Austin City Manager Dave Casar.
“And we are very committed to ensuring that everyone who uses a public accommodation is given the opportunity to participate fully and fairly.”
The city had previously said it would allow people with disability to attend the graduation, which is held on the UT campus.