Gaithersburg, Maryland – Caitlin Cunningham, a deaf arts enthusiast, filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Muse Paintbar, LLC, which offers painting classes open to the public. Muse Paintbar’s repeated refusal to provide Cunningham with qualified sign language interpreters during the painting classes violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.Cunningham, who communicates in American Sign Language, wanted to take Muse Paintbar’s painting classes with her family. Because Muse Paintbar did not provide interpreting services upon request, Cunningham was not able to join its programs – this is discrimination. “I just want to be able to take Muse Paintbar classes and understand everything like everyone else does. I don’t know why Muse would want to turn away and exclude anyone.” said Caitlin Cunningham. 

Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), agreed: “Muse Paintbar has federal and state obligations to ensure that its programs and services are accessible to all, including deaf and hard of hearing people. It is unfortunate that a lawsuit is necessary to make sure Muse Paintbar follows these laws.” Prior to filing suit, the NAD wrote to Muse Paintbar to make clear their legal obligations and to again request interpreters on Cunningham’s behalf, but Muse did not respond. 

Cunningham is represented by the National Association of the Deaf and Stein & Vargas, LLP.


The National Association of the Deaf is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for, deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States.

Stein & Vargas, LLP is a civil rights firm based in Washington, D.C. and committed to the principle that all people have full and equal access to all parts of society.


  • The National Association of the DeafLizzie Sorkin301-587-1788

  • Stein & Vargas, LLPMary Vargas240-793-3185