[Community-service] Discrimination in volunteering based onblindness
bookwormahb at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 11 21:36:01 UTC 2014
What you say should be true. As members of the public we should have equal
opportunity. But places do think us a liability.
When I tried to volunteer with our fire department as an administrative
volunteer, I was told in our meeting after orientation thatthere was some
hazardous stuff I might trip on or wander in the wrong rooms.
I ended up not getting the opportunity more so because they did not need
admin volunteers, not due to the attitude thing. They were also up front
with me they may not have enough admin work I could do, so I was not
surprised to hear this.
I'm trying to get a volunteer position now with kids so we will see if that
works out; I'm waiting for a call back.
From: Darian Smith via Community-service
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:18 PM
To: jonathan franks ; Community Service Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Community-service] Discrimination in volunteering based
Jonathan and all,
I believe that while there is no requirement that a place where you
volunteer need make accommodations such as screen readers and screen
magnification, they are to allow you the opportunity to volunteer in that
if they allow members of the public to come in and volunteer, they ought to
allow a person with a disability to do the same.
in short, you ought not be disallowed a place you desire to volunteer
simply due to your blindness. You need to be able to be competent and show
that you can be, but they can’t assume you a liability and not give you the
On Aug 31, 2014, at 9:48 AM, jonathan franks via Community-service
<community-service at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Greetings everyone,
> I wanted to get people's experiences and thoughts on this topic.
> Last year, I was to find a volunteer agency to do 45 hours of
> volunteer work for one of my Social Work courses. I had ran across an
> agency dealing with children and I wanted to offer my services there.
> During the initial interview portion of the volunteering process, I
> was told that based on my blindness that I could only do
> administrative work. The reason I was given was that the children in
> this agency often got into fights and that if there was a fire, they
> were worried that I could not get out of the situation for my safety.
> Even though I expressed that I had orientation and mobility skills,
> they refused to let me volunteer with the children in this agency.
> I felt as though I had been discriminated at this point and felt as if
> it was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, my
> Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor explained to me that since it was
> not an interview for compensated employment, that there was a loophole
> that they could do this.
> Luckily for that semester I found a great alternative place to
> volunteer. I was hoping to get other people's experiences so that we
> can all come up with strategies to advocate for ourselves so that we
> can show our sighted peers we are efficient contributors to society.
> I hope everyone is well.
> Jonathan Franks
> Jonathan Franks
> Austin Chapter Board Member
> National Federation of the Blind of Texas
> Hook the Cure Board Member
> Social Media Manager
> The University of Texas at Austin
> Diabetes Action Network (NFB)
> National Board Member
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> Community-service at nfbnet.org
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