[Community-service] Being turned away.

Chasity Jackson chasityvanda at charter.net
Fri Jun 21 08:48:33 UTC 2013

Hi Kathy,

That's great that you submitted all of those documents. Would you mind sending me the documents you submitted? I would like a copy of those, especially the document concerning service animals in hospital situations. But I would like copies of everything else you may have concerning tat. I think it is good to have on hand in case something like that should come up. Thanks.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: KARmedtrans at aol.com 
  To: community-service at nfbnet.org 
  Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 9:40 PM
  Subject: Re: [Community-service] Being turned away.

  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 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


    “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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