[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 
requiring it.

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 
drift here.

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.
> Thanks
> Georgia
> _______________________________________________
> nfbmi-talk mailing list
> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 
> nfbmi-talk:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org/joeharcz%40comcast.net 

More information about the NFBMI-Talk mailing list