[Community-service] Being turned away.

KARmedtrans at aol.com KARmedtrans at aol.com
Thu Jun 13 02:40:50 UTC 2013

I almost had the same problem with volunteering at a  rehabilation facility 
but it was a combination of my blindness and guide  dog.  When I did not 
like what was and not presented for reasoning I made  sure I had a copy of 
service animals in hospital situations and the rights of  the ADA.  I then 
requested a meeting with the VP of the hospital, Human  Resources and the 
volunteer director.  And since there was a Social Worker  who was causing me 
difficulties and giving a wrong presentation of what I was  proposing to perform 
I also requested a meeting with that social worker and her  boss.
I first sent an email to the parties involved and sent a copy  of the 
material I mentioned the ADA rights and guide dog guidelines.  By  sending a copy 
of the material I was giving them ample opportunity to review and  be 
prepared for my questions and presentations.  
I did get my 2 meetings I requested, received an apology from  the Social 
Worker involved, the hospital and administration received an  education about 
the skills of a lind person and the ways they could benefit and  open their 
eyes to their blindness.
Since that time, my guide dog and I have been volunteered at  this facility 
for almost 2 years - still being the first and only guide dog and  blind 
person team.  And I also opened the doors and eyes of the regional  facility - 
again my guide dog and I are the first and only guide dog  team.
I have learned you must have great belief in yourself and what  your skills 
are.  Do your research about the company - know what they  represent - 
about the history - the more you know about the business and know  positions and 
work involved.  You must present your case very carefully and  
professionally.  Me I also let them know that I know what I am capable of  an my rights 
and no hesitation to call in the NFB or civil rights attorney about  my 
rights according to the ADA being violated.
Try looking for non-profit organizations who are more open to  
disabilities.  March for a cause and show that your disability does not  prevent you 
from doing what others do.
Hope this a little helps.
Kathy Rawa and Dorito
NJ Voters Rights Liaison representative for HAVA
President South Jersey Shore Chapter of the NFBNJ
Recipient of the Atlantic County, NJ Donald J Sykes Award for  Volunteering
1st and only guide dog volunteer at Bacharach Institute of  Rehabilation 
and AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
In a message dated 6/12/2013 9:51:21 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
bookwormahb at earthlink.net writes:

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 
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 
do. So I  stopped trying. Last summer, I volunteered under a new 
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. 
someone was not. She  called me back and said it wasn't a good fit for me 
I was welcome to  volunteer in the office doing other work. Well, I took 
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 
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 
big process they have: application, interview, background  check and a 
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 
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 
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


“We know not of  our future, but we know of our past. A past that is
made up of our  ancestor’s Dreams, their stories and hopes.
These sights once seen, sounds  heard and emotions felt are now our
knowledge. The knowledge that guides us  to this very moment…”
-Darian  Smith

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