[nfbmi-talk] Fw: Montgomery County Discriminates AgainstBlindEmployee
joe harcz Comcast
joeharcz at comcast.net
Wed Apr 13 21:48:30 UTC 2011
You know while I think of it this should include ACB and MCBVI as well. Let
us put both groups together in common cause. I mean here MCBVI supports,
rightfully the Treasury suit on accessible currency, and the even more
righteous victory on the Social Security Administration over providing
information in accessible formats to SS recipients and doesn't take action
on these issues?
They overlook the right of recipients of VR services and others to get
information in accessible format by MCB while chastising NFB for not being
proactive and even contradictory on the Treasury issue and visa versa?
Common yawl we're at common cause here. All folks who are blind and VI in
Michigan are being discriminated against by this scofflaw entity (MCB), it's
director Cannon and over a period of time and with malice and with
The petty bull stuff must end if justice is to occur and if civil rights in
this context are to be realized. I re-joined NFB MI because of the
contradictions of MCBVI and the lack of guts in these regards.
(I say this with malice to neither side by the way.)
Meanwhile back at the ranch Cannon and his ilk divide and conquer over the
issue big time.
Oh, and in case folks do not note this fact I've thrown down the gauntlet
not only to NFB, nationally to support the cause of the blind in these
regards but also to ACB, and MCBVI.
Just as both fought in common cause on other accessibility issues we must
unite together on these seminal issues.
A slight to one is a slight to everyone of us. An injustice to one is an
injustice to all, to paraphrase Martin Luter King.
We, all blind andvisually impaired have both a common cause and a common
enemy so-to-speak here in Michigan.
Both national organizations and, indeed both state organizations should be
suing this State, and MCB back to the stone-age...Oops I can't say that, for
when it comes to the term Michigan under Cannon in regards to basic civil
rights is at the stone-age level of existence. One might argue, and with
some merit that blind folks did have more equality of opportunity and more
fundamental civil rights in the stone-age, or the dark-age, or in the rock
of ages, or in the age old hymns of slave spirituals than we do under Cannon
and his ancien regime...But, sadly I digress...
We must, united stand firm brothers and sisters of all parties, all
religions, all races, all affiliations and all concerns against a common
enemy in my mind.
If not we are doomed to injustice, unemployment, poverty, and worse.
Peace with Justice,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christine Boone" <christine_boone at comcast.net>
To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: Montgomery County Discriminates
> It would be hard to disagree with that.
> On Apr 13, 2011, at 1:03 PM, joe harcz Comcast wrote:
>> We need to get NFB to sue the State of Michigan over it's inaccessible
>> Main system, its thousands of inaccessible documents on state web
>> sites,and the failure of MCB itself to produce documents in accessible
>> format and a timely manner including State of Michigan ADA coordinator
>> Patrick D. Cannon.
>> Man, we need to hit them hard and fast this stuff has gone on too long
>> and is systemwide.
>> Joe Harcz
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Larry Posont"
>> <president.nfb.mi at gmail.com>
>> To: "NFBofMichigan List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 12:53 PM
>> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: Montgomery County Discriminates Against
>>> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>>> Chris Danielsen
>>> Director of Public Relations
>>> National Federation of the Blind
>>> (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
>>> (410) 262-1281 (Cell)
>>> cdanielsen at nfb.org
>>> Montgomery County Discriminates Against Blind Employee
>>> Rockville, Maryland (April 13, 2011): With the assistance of the
>>> National Federation of the Blind, a blind woman who was until recently
>>> employed as an information specialist with Montgomery County's
>>> Department of Health and Human Services has filed suit against the
>>> County for unlawful discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
>>> The suit arises from the County's purchase of an inaccessible database
>>> program that employees of its new 311 call center must use to complete
>>> their tasks. Yasmin Reyazuddin worked in the call center of the
>>> County's Department of Health and Human Services: Division of Aging and
>>> Disability Services until the County consolidated that call center and
>>> others into its new Montgomery County 311 Call Center. Ms. Reyazuddin
>>> had been using screen access software, which converts information on a
>>> computer screen into synthesized speech or into Braille that can be
>>> displayed on a device known as a refreshable Braille display, to access
>>> the computer programs with which she needed to interact in order to
>>> provide accurate information to callers, keep records of calls, and
>>> perform other tasks necessary for resolving the concerns of callers.
>>> When she learned that her agency's call center would be consolidated
>>> into the County's new 311 call center, she repeatedly inquired of County
>>> officials whether the software for the new call center would be
>>> accessible with screen access technology and provided information to the
>>> County about accessible solutions. For the new call center, the County
>>> ultimately procured a database system from Oracle known as Seibel
>>> Customer Relationship Management (CRM). According to its manufacturer,
>>> this software can be configured to work with screen access software, but
>>> the County installed a custom configuration of the software that is not
>>> accessible to blind employees.
>>> Ms. Reyazuddin was originally scheduled to be transferred to the new
>>> call center with other information specialists, but was not allowed to
>>> be transferred when she raised concerns about the accessibility of the
>>> CRM program. Ms. Reyazuddin has not been allowed to test the software
>>> for accessibility, and although Oracle provided the County with
>>> documentation describing how the software could be made accessible, the
>>> County has not implemented an accessible configuration of the software.
>>> Ms. Reyazuddin has been downgraded from an information specialist to a
>>> support staff position at the County Department of Health and Human
>>> Services, and she is only given duties that fill approximately half of
>>> an eight-hour work day. She has been informed that her pay will also be
>>> cut because the County claims that her multilingual skills are no longer
>>> being used in her new assignment.
>>> Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind,
>>> said: "Yasmin Reyazuddin has been treated shamefully and with deliberate
>>> disregard for her legal and civil rights by Montgomery County. Instead
>>> of taking the steps necessary to make the database program used by
>>> employees of the Montgomery County 311 Call Center accessible, the
>>> County has reassigned her to a lower-paying job in which her skills are
>>> not being used. We cannot and will not tolerate this discrimination
>>> against her and other blind County employees."
>>> Ms. Reyazuddin said: "Despite my ten years of service to Montgomery
>>> County, I am now being shifted to a lower-paying position with little to
>>> do. I could do all of my former job duties if the County would follow
>>> Oracle's guidelines for making CRM accessible, but instead I am largely
>>> relegated to idleness. The situation has caused me considerable
>>> emotional distress. I did not want to resort to litigation but I feel
>>> that I have no choice if I am to once again be a productive employee of
>>> Montgomery County."
>>> The plaintiff is represented with the assistance of the National
>>> Federation of the Blind by Joseph B. Espo and Timothy R. Elder of the
>>> Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy.
>>> About the National Federation of the Blind
>>> With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is
>>> the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people
>>> in the United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through
>>> advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging
>>> independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the
>>> blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January
>>> 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan
>>> Institute, the first research and training center in the United States
>>> for the blind led by the blind.
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