[blindkid] Community track

Susan Harper sueharper at firstchurchgriswold.org
Fri Apr 9 21:14:02 UTC 2010

Thanks Carol,  added the websites to my list!
Sue H.

On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 3:17 PM, Carol Castellano
<blindchildren at verizon.net>wrote:

> Hi Carly,
> Ah, good old discrimination.  The spirit of the "policy" that the
> Commissioner spoke of is exclusionary instead of inclusionary!
> I'm of the school of thought that you need to educate them not only about
> your child's needs and abilities, but also about the law.  Most entities
> have no idea that they are discriminating.  They believe their concern for
> "safety" makes complete sense.  They are usually surprised to learn that
> they could be violating a person's civil rights.
> Susan mentioned the Office for Civil Rights.  You may or may not need to go
> all the way to lodging a complaint, but you do need to arm yourself with the
> words of the various laws.  There is the federal law, ADA, and your state
> may have a civil rights law, too.  I have used the phrase, "I know you
> wouldn't want to be in violation of the law and I certainly wouldn't want to
> have to lodge a complaint on my son's behalf with the Office for Civil
> Rights."  That suddenly puts them on alert. In my experience, entities do
> not want to be in violation of laws and they begin backing off.
> Below are some pieces of ADA for your reading pleasure.  The link to it is
> also included so that you can begin familiarizing yourself with it.  Here
> are links for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, IDEA, and the federal
> Office for Civil Rights.  I believe every parent should have these in their
> Favorites!
> http://idea.ed.gov/download/statute.html
> http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edlite-34cfr104.html
> http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html
> Happy reading!
> Carol
> Carol Castellano, President
> National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
> 973-377-0976
> carol_castellano at verizon.net
> www.nopbc.org
> http://www.ada.gov/reg3a.html#Anchor-36104
> Place of public accommodation means a facility, operated by a private
> entity, whose operations affect commerce and fall within at least one of the
> following categories --
> (1) An inn, hotel, motel, or other place of lodging, except for an
> establishment located within a building that contains not more than five
> rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied by the proprietor of
> the establishment as the residence of the proprietor;
> (2) A restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;
> (3) A motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place
> of exhibition or entertainment;
> (4) An auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of
> public gathering;
> (5) A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping
> center, or other sales or rental establishment;
> (6) A laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel
> service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an
> accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a
> health care provider, hospital, or other service establishment;
> (7) A terminal, depot, or other station used forspecified public
> transportation;
> (8) A museum, library, gallery, or other place of public display or
> collection;
> (9) A park, zoo, amusement park, or other place of recreation;
> (10) A nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate
> private school, or other place of education;
> (11) A day care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank,
> adoption agency, or other social service center establishment; and
> (12) A gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of
> exercise or recreation.
> Private club means a private club or establishment exempted from coverage
> under title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a(e)).
> Private entity means a person or entity other than a public entity.
> Public accommodation means a private entity that owns, leases (or leases
> to), or operates a place of public accommodation.
> Public entity means --
> (1) Any State or local government;
> (2) Any department, agency, special purpose district, or other
> instrumentality of a State or States or local government; and
> (3) The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, and any commuter authority
> (as defined in section 103(8) of the Rail Passenger Service Act). (45 U.S.C.
> 541)
> Undue burden means significant difficulty or expense. In determining
> whether an action would result in an undue burden, factors to be considered
> include --
> (1) The nature and cost of the action needed under this part;
> (2) The overall financial resources of the site or sites involved in the
> action; the number of persons employed at the site; the effect on expenses
> and resources; legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe
> operation, including crime prevention measures; or the impact otherwise of
> the action upon the operation of the site;
> (3) The geographic separateness, and the administrative or fiscal
> relationship of the site or sites in question to any parent corporation or
> entity;
> (4) If applicable, the overall financial resources of any parent
> corporation or entity; the overall size of the parent corporation or entity
> with respect to the number of its employees; the number, type, and location
> of its facilities; and
> (5) If applicable, the type of operation or operations of any parent
> corporation or entity, including the composition, structure, and functions
> of the workforce of the parent corporation or entity.
> (a) Prohibition of discrimination. No individual shall be discriminated
> against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the
> goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of
> any place of public accommodation by any private entity who owns, leases (or
> leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.
> Sec.36.202 Activities.
> (a) Denial of participation. A public accommodation shall not subject an
> individual or class of individuals on the basis of a disability or
> disabilities of such individual or class, directly, or through contractual,
> licensing, or other arrangements, to a denial of the opportunity of the
> individual or class to participate in or benefit from the goods, services,
> facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public
> accommodation.
> Sec.36.203 Integrated settings.
> (a) General. A public accommodation shall afford goods, services,
> facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations to an individual with
> a disability in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the
> individual.
> (b) Opportunity to participate. Notwithstanding the existence of separate
> or different programs or activities provided in accordance with this
> subpart, a public accommodation shall not deny an individual with a
> disability an opportunity to participate in such programs or activities that
> are not separate or different.
> (c) Accommodations and services. (1) Nothing in this part shall be
> construed to require an individual with a disability to accept an
> accommodation, aid, service, opportunity, or benefit available under this
> part that such individual chooses not to accept.
> Sec.36.301 Eligibility criteria.
> (a) General. A public accommodation shall not impose or apply eligibility
> criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a
> disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and
> equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or
> accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the
> provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or
> accommodations being offered.
> (b) Safety. A public accommodation may impose legitimate safety
> requirements that are necessary for safe operation. Safety requirements must
> be based on actual risks and not on mere speculation, stereotypes, or
> generalizations about individuals with disabilities.
> (c) Charges. A public accommodation may not impose a surcharge on a
> particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with
> disabilities to cover the costs of measures, such as the provision of
> auxiliary aids, barrier removal, alternatives to barrier removal, and
> reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, that are
> required to provide that individual or group with the nondiscriminatory
> treatment required by the Act or this part.
> At 11:29 PM 4/8/2010, you wrote:
>> Hi all! I'm an avid reader of this list and I am so impressed with the
>> excellent advice and support that's offered here! So I'm coming to you for
>> a
>> bit of that for our family. We adopted our son Brian two years ago. He has
>> albinism and with it, low vision. He is 7 years old and in 1st grade. We
>> signed him up for community Track this spring. He had his first practice
>> tonight. In an effort to create a comfortable adjustment, I contacted the
>> coach (it's a husband/wife team, and I spoke with the wife) and asked her
>> if
>> I could tell her a little bit about our son. We had a very pleasant,
>> hour-long conversation. She has a teaching background, a son with a
>> disability, and seemed very understanding, warm, and willing to be
>> accomodating. That said, I didn't ask for any "unusual" accomodations,
>> like
>> equipment or a one-on-one coach. His needs actually relate more to his
>> having been institutionalized for the first five years of his life, and he
>> is still playing catch-up in terms of skills like jumping with both feet
>> and
>> landing with both feet, as well as other coordination skills. I mentioned
>> that he has a strong aversion to loud sounds, especially sudden sounds,
>> and
>> that he cannot stand the sound of the gun. I said that I want him to
>> participate in practices but not in meets, and that in the next year or so
>> when he is better able to tolerate the gun then he can start attending
>> meets. For now, I just want him to have the peer experience and hopefully
>> gain some skill and confidence. She said she thought that was an excellent
>> idea.
>> Well, when I arrived at practice, the Track Commissioner was there. She
>> came
>> over and greeted me, and then proceeded to explain to me that she is quite
>> concerned about Brian's safety and the safety of the other players. She
>> mentioned this at least three times in the course of our 45-minute
>> conversation. I was shocked... will I ever stop being shocked? She also
>> said
>> that the "Board" has a policy on the website (implying strongly that I
>> should have known about it and read it ahead of time) that requires any
>> child with special needs must have a written request for accomodations.
>> (She
>> had a copy with her. It's dated December, 1998) It states that the request
>> must be made in writing, it must include "the child's name, parent's
>> names,
>> the sport, diagnosis and its affect on the child's ability to participate
>> in
>> the sport, as well as the type of acommodation requested" and must be
>> submitted to the Board, and that "No request for accommodation will be
>> considered if these procedures are not followed." In other words, my
>> calling
>> the coach to discuss Brian ahead of time was woefully insufficient. The
>> policy also states: "Reasonable accomodations are actions, which can be
>> taken that will not place undue hardship on the association and its
>> members.
>> No accommodation will be granted which will expose any participant to an
>> undue risk of harm." As far as I could determine, this policy has not been
>> updated since 1998. (I should add that I'm pretty certain that the
>> Commissioner involved herself when the coach contacted her to ask about
>> whether there was any other signal they could use other than the gun. This
>> was a suggestion the coach made to me in our conversation, not the other
>> way
>> around, and I specifically said this probably wasn't fair to ask for and
>> something I wouldn't expect. I think she was bending over backwards to
>> accomodate us, and asked the Commissioner about it on our behalf... hence
>> the visit to practice tonight.)
>> The Commissioner mentioned that "special needs" are her "area" but when I
>> asked for specifics, she said she is an elementary school paraprofessional
>> working with kids who have autism, ADHD, EBD and the like but has never
>> worked with a blind or low vision child before. I tried to take this as an
>> opportunity to educate, but it was not easy. She was the most ignorant and
>> resistant person I've come into contact with to date. In the course of our
>> conversation, she stressed that her coaches are all volunteers and that it
>> was very unfair to think that they should accomodate Brian in any way. She
>> added that many of them would probably quit if a child like Brian were to
>> enroll on their team. She admitted, however, that Brian's coach didn't
>> complain about anything I had told her about Brian and did not seem unduly
>> concerned. I told her that it was never my intention to drop and go, and
>> that I would be doing much of the accomodating myself. (I had said this to
>> the coach in our earlier conversation.) Toward the end of our
>> conversation,
>> she added that she is also very concerned about how other parents will
>> feel
>> when they see Brian in Track. Then she said, "You know what I mean, I'm
>> sure." I said, "Actually, I really haven't met anyone who has been
>> concerned
>> about Brian in that way." She seemed very fixated on the idea that Brian's
>> presence creates some kind of grave danger for everyone involved.
>> I am wondering specifically if ADA or IDEA address what in my opinion is a
>> draconian policy, and whether this organization falls under the umbrella
>> of
>> either. It's a community sports organization which as far as I can tell,
>> doesn't receive any funding from the school district, but does use the
>> public school facilities. I'm not thinking about bringing legal action,
>> but
>> I like to know what the law provides, more as an opportunity to educate,
>> not
>> to bully.
>> Thanks in advance for any thoughts. God bless! --Carolynn Barnes
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