[Nfbc-info] Question about Reasonable Accommodations

Marianne Haas braillewoman at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 24 23:47:51 UTC 2015

Good Afternoon,
This message is a legal question.  I, therefore, address it to Tim and
anyone else interested in legal issues.

My name is Marianne Haas.  I worked temporarily as a Teacher of the Visually
Impaired for a school district in Northern CA.  I was hired temporarily and
received a Computer with Jaws and open book and a pearl camera by mid May
three weeks before school was out.  I was promised a Reader, which never
materialized.  This job was itinerate.

As the district realized that they did not provide for me, they offered to
rehire me. However, it was not a good situation.  I often had to wait for
buses in the hot sun, which messed with my sugar level and blood pressure.
By the end of July, I resigned due to medical reasons.  However, in order to
apply for teacher retirement disability I had to have asked the district for
accommodations.  I had my doctor write a letter stating that I would need an
Assistant to assist me including driving me to the different schools.  I let
the school district know that I would love to continue my position of
Teacher of the Visually Impaired, but would need more accommodations.  I
finally received a letter from Personnel including the Superintendent's
Office stating that the district was not legally obligated to accommodate me
and could not do so.

 They were also not offering me a comparable position.

I have several questions:
1. I was under the impression that an employer had to accommodate employees
with disabilities reasonably.  Did I misunderstand that?  If the district
said that they could not accommodate me reasonably, I would have understood.
What is an employer obligated to do?

2. According to the Teacher Retirement Disability law, I may have to appeal
a negative decision to the employer, if they refuse to accommodate me.  If
something comes from the Superintendent's Office, Whom would I appeal it to?

3. Some districts in CA and other places require Teachers of the Visually
impaired to have a driver's license.  Is that legal?  Most TVI jobs are
itinerate.  If that is legal, it means that blind people will not have a
chance to be hired.Mostly districts want to "save" money on Teachers, while
Program Specialist start with a salary of $70 K.  Is it legal to just leave
those positions open to avoid hiring qualified blind Teachers?

Please let me know some of the answers.  I can be reached at:
(510) 525-7965
braillewoman at earthlink.net

Best Regards,

Marianne Haas 

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