09/18/2015 07:31 EDT | Updated 09/18/2016 01:12 EDT

Hearing impaired student says teacher won't use device to help him hear in class

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A student at Memorial University in Newfoundland says he is being discriminated against because of a hearing impairment.

William Sears says a history professor refused to wear an assistive hearing device because of her religious beliefs.

The FM transmitter is a microphone that sends signals to Sears' hearing aid.

Sears says that when he approached Dr. Ranee Panjabi on the first day of class to give her the device, she wouldn't use it and suggested he leave it on the front desk.

The 20-year-old has made a formal complaint to the university and the Human Rights Commission.

The school's deputy provost of students, Cecilia Reynolds, says an agreement made 20 years ago means the professor does not have to wear it.


The Canadian Press