[Community-service] Being turned away.

Ashley Bramlett bookwormahb at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 13 01:51:00 UTC 2013

Good question. I finally have time to respond.
I have certainly been turned down from community service, although I don't 
know if it was all blindness related.
They never came out and said it was but I got the feeling it was.

Two instances. In both cases, I looked for other opportunities.
First was with a nonprofit called Facets. I
went through the hastle they required. This was a background check, 
application, interview and orientation.
They actually did my interview later after the orientation because they 
thought I already did one but the new coordinator came aborard and they 
realized I had not.
I wanted to volunteer in the office doing communications work like producing 
press kits and other outreach material or something administrative.

Well, I kept following up with them in phone calls. They took their time 
returning my messages. They kept saying they couldn't find things for me to 
do. So I stopped trying. Last summer, I volunteered under a new coordinator. 
She was open minded and I was going to do front desk work which means I'd 
answer the door and let people in.
Well, she suggested some accomodations and was pretty open minded. However, 
someone was not. She called me back and said it wasn't a good fit for me but 
I was welcome to volunteer in the office doing other work. Well, I took that 
opportunity; I helped update their contact list and I did some research 
projects and wrote a few articles for their newsletter. I only stopped 
because I got an internship.
So the second round at facets I sort of got turned away, but I think the 
coordinator really tried to work with me and it wasn't her who prevented me 
from working up front. it was someone else I'm sure, probably her boss.

The other time I got turned away was at red cross. Again, I went through the 
big process they have: application, interview, background check and a boring 
volunteer orientation.
I volunteered at the office a few times. I was stuffing envelopes.
The plan was for me to do office work and help the communications team among 
other things.
But then the supervisor kind of ignored me. I was not trained on their 
database or shown how to do much of anything. He left it up to the other 
office volunteer who tried but she was busy with her own work and I don't 
think she knew how to explain much.

Then it ended. He told the other office volunteer to call me and tell me not 
to come in because they had nothing for me to do.
This happened two or three times and then I realized that this opportunity 
was over.

Now, I'm also looking for volunteer work in an office to gain experience.

More on that later.
-----Original Message----- 
From: Darian Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 5:13 PM
To: Community Service Discussion List
Subject: [Community-service] Being turned away.

Hi all,
   have you ever been turned down from  doing some sort of service
project because of your blindness? if so what happened? what was the
reasoning  and how did you deal with it?

Darian Smith

Text the word BLIND to 85944 to donate $10 to the NFB Imagination Fund
via your phone bill.

The time is now to eliminate Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities


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made up of our ancestor’s Dreams, their stories and hopes.
These sights once seen, sounds heard and emotions felt are now our
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-Darian Smith

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