Blind Acupuncturist?

February 1, 2008 9:20:19 AM PST
A blind student of acupuncture is making a second request for a license to practice in Texas.

That's after Juliana Cumbo's first application was rejected last year because of her blindness.

The licensure committee of the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners is set to rehear her request today. If she's licensed, she'd be the first blind person to be issued a state license.

The 31-year-old practices as a graduate intern in the student clinic of the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin. She has earned a master's degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine and passed the national board exams.

Meng-sheng Lin is the licensure committee chairwoman, and the Dallas acupuncturist says she's inclined to repeat her vote against Cumbo's application. She says she's trying to fulfill her duty to protect the public.

Lin says acupuncture can lead to bleeding that if unnoticed could pose a contamination risk.

Cumbo's attorney, David Cohen of Austin, says denying Cumbo a license solely because of her blindness would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.