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Finland School Fined In Deaf Discrimination Case

Deaf News: Helsinki Design School fined in Deaf discrimination case.

HELSINKI -- The Helsinki District Court has slapped a fine 1,200-euro on the head of a private Helsinki Design School for retracting its offer of a place to a Deaf applicant. The court found the institution and its principal guilty of discrimination but the defendants say they are considering an appeal.

Back in 2014, privately-run Helsinki Design School turned away design student Oskari Salomaa, citing insufficient resources to provide interpreter services. The institution had previously accepted Salomaa for the year-long program, but retracted the place when it learned of his special needs.

On Monday, the Helsinki District Court ruled that the school had violated non-discrimination laws in refusing Salomaa the opportunity to study.

The court imposed a fine of 1,280 euros on the school CEO and also called on the institution and its chief executive to compensate Salomaa to the tune of 8,000 euros. The defendants are also required to settle Salomaa’s legal expenses, which amounted to nearly 8,500 euros.

Salomaa said that he was pleased with the outcome.

"This means that sign language users have a right to be part of Finnish society. I won’t appeal the decision," Salomaa said after the ruling.

Lawyer for the defendants, Jaana Juutilainen said that she was disappointed with the court’s decision.

"It’s very likely that we will see fit to take the case to the Court of Appeal," Juutilainen remarked. Read The Full Story
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