[nfbmi-talk] college assessment
joe harcz Comcast
joeharcz at comcast.net
Fri Apr 29 15:49:32 UTC 2011
Technically speaking transition services from MCB are required under IDEA at
age fourteen. (As an aside I'd jump up and down and dance in the street and
throw a parade and otherwise pat MCB and the local ISDs if this really
happened in fact which it too often does not. But I digress..)
Now, aside from the federal requirement on transitional services which was
your question I do believe there are other areas where MCB can come in to
play if it wished and if brought kicking and screaming into programs
earlier. Actually PA 260 doesn't have an age for intervention but is rather
open ended. Also I do think that parents and other advocates at the IEP
process itself can insist on any partner at the table and that goes before
age fourteen, from early intervention to graduation.
In other words I do not see any issue for example for a parent in requesting
that say a Rehab Teacher of the Blind or O and M instructor even if an MCB
employee or an MCB counselor be made a part of the IEP team prior to age
fourteen and as a component of not only transitional services, but simply
meeting core and expanded curriculum which amounts to the same
In simple terms I think a parent/advocate can ask for anyone he or she
wishes to be on the IEP team at any point in time. I see no prohibitions
against that in state or federal law and I've seen plenty of examples of
Oh, yes and my best advise for parents of any child with any disability let
alone blindness is to:\
1. Never go to an IEP or other meeting alone. I don't care if one needs to
pick up a homeless person off the street, or a carnival barker, or a circus
clown (I'm being only a bit sarcastic here, only slightly) and dub him or
her an "advocate" don't go it alone.
2. Always record every meeting. And in Michigan one can readily record
meetings in the open with no muss and no fuss and no legal liability. And if
a district squalks about that I sure can cite the case law and regulations.
Andalways use the IEP throughout the school year and always point to
progress or lack thereof all year long. It is an accountability tool and
timelines must be met. And a new meeting can be called to amend or revise at
a virtual heartbeat.
3. As soon as feasible the blind or otherwise disabled student should be
allowed to engage the process and should have unimpeded access to his or her
own records in accessible format upon request. I mean sighted kids get to
see their report cards and other testing and other materials. Why shouldn't
blind or otherwise disabled kids be able to see this sort of thing as well
as IEPs, etc.? I mean accountability goes both ways doesn't it?
(By the way I'm sure youth like Jeff or others on this list would like to
see such things in Braille and at the same time as their sighted peers. This
is just as important as being able to read the Bible or this or that text
book and should not be denied.)
Sorry for the ramble. I hope I answered your question.
Oh, another ramble here the good folks at Michigan's LIO program are not
now, nor have ever been a target of my wrath at the system. I hope they know
that. These, just like the goodly frontline folks in MCB are just that
goodly and needed and for the most part very competent.The frontline
services and providers are far too few, spred too thin, often vilified by
administrators, and are often the ones abused along with students and other
consumers by administrations who have all direction out of sense of
priorities, let alone all sense of decency and propriety, and which are
self serving, non-transparent and not accountable.
I highly praise the efforts of both skilled, hardworking frontline
professionals while at the same time being highly critical of both MDE, MCB,
and federal authorities of both parties and over decades in shortchanging
consumers of all ages for decades and for ever increasingly poor oversight,
regulation and ultimately accountability right at the top.
I'm only fiftey eight years old but have been brutalized by this system
which was created and funded to assist me in independence. Yet, while it
might be over for me personally I'll be damned if I'll let this stuff
continue upon a new generation without a fight.
Man, when I think of the geniuses who have come from the blind community
from Keller (don't laugh you all she was even with flaws) to Tenbroek to
Louis Braille himself to John Milton to . Nemeth and back and forth again
and in full circle and I see kids, in this modern era with so much
technological potential to increase the availability of information and
education in a variety of formats and at the same time it is made available
to the sighted, and then yet, denied by ignorance, expense excuses,
violations of law and equity I just weep openly and gnash my teeth and
engage in, most ungrammatically incorrect, run-on sentences with improper
punctuation and full of unbridled angst and anger. But you all catch the
Bottom line is whether or not one considers blindness in and of itself a
tragedy it is incontrovertible that lack of opportunity, lack of reasonable
accommodations, overt acts of discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes are
indeed tragedies in and of themselves. Blindness in most instances cannot be
remedied, or cured. But, the other issues do have remedy and cures.
I will fight until my dying day for the latter that is for sure.
Now, let us all say together, "Shut up Joe!"...smile...
Again, sorry for the mad ramble but I care so much for the future of all
people with disabilities and like the future of humanity it lies not with
old farts like me, but, rather with they young and we should give the young
every opportunity to succeed as basic human beings to the best of their
potential and no matter the disability or lack thereof.
Peace with Justice,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Georgia Kitchen" <gakitchen at gfn.org>
To: "NFB of Michigan List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 10:27 AM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] college assessment
> Hi Joe,
> Thanks for this info. I think this is important for parents and their
> youth to know about this ahead of time. I knew about it simply because I
> had friends from the Blind school who had mentioned it. Now youth are in
> a different situation so it is good that you have provided this info.
> Also, at what age do youth qualify for transition and other services from
> MCB. Age 14 or 12?
> Is the Youth Low Vision program still in operation and being funded.
> nfbmi-talk mailing list
> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
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