[nobe-l] record keeping programs

Kathy McGillivray kjm at usfamily.net
Fri Dec 5 00:08:31 UTC 2008

Hi, Darrell. It's great that you are trying to plan ahead for the next stage 
in your career. I have a few suggestions. First, you should find out how 
your district provides reasonable accommodations. In other words, is there a 
specific procedure you need to use in order to get them. for better or for 
worse, state government and public school districts often have specific 
peple who are responsible for the accommodation process. You should find out 
what company makes the product the school district will be using. Then, call 
the company yourself and ask what they know about its accessibility. Also, 
call Freedom Scientific about the product and ask about any experience they 
have had with it. I also suggest you see if there is a way you can try out 
the product by getting a dummy version from the company for a short trial. 
If the program seems accessible, great. If not, you will need to decide how 
you want to handle that. You could ask the district to hire a reader to 
assist with  record keeping or you could decide to hire the reader, 

It is reasonable for you to ask for JAWS to be loaded onto a computer. That 
said, I have chosen to handle this myself in my current job. I just told 
them I needed to load JAWS onto my work computer so I would have access. 
Since I already own JAWS for home use, there was no reason I couldn't also 
use it on a work computer. My employer had no experience with this, so I 
handled it myself. All I requested was administrative priveliges so I could 
load JAWS, Duxbury, and Kurzweil onto it. I have asked my employer to pay 
for upgrades to Duxbury and Kurzweil. Fortunately, I'm the disability 
services director at a university, so I'm basically determining and 
implementing my own accommodations.

Bottom line, do not assume or expect anything. Instead, decide what you want 
to request as accommodations and take responsibility for their 
implementation. Don't be demanding, but do be respectfully assertive. 
Generally, I've found I need to do my own research on how accessible 
specific software programs will be. It's not realistic to expect my employer 
to have that knowledge. Besides, I'd rather interact with them about my job 
than about my disability, whenever possible.

Best wishes and feel free to email if you want more input.

Kathy McGillivray
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "darrell walla" <dwalla at cox.net>
To: "NFBnet National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List" 
<nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 11:02 PM
Subject: [nobe-l] record keeping programs

> I am teaching in a large public school setting.  I emailed many of you 
> last year with an issue regarding the email program known as First Class. 
> I found the feedback I received to be very helpful.  Now I need advice 
> again.
> Next year we are starting a new record keeping program known as Infinite 
> Campus.  It will have all records of the students on there, including 
> grades, IEPs, etc.  As a Special Education teacher, I will be using these 
> forms.  This gives me many concerns.
> 1.  Has anyone used Infinite Campus with JAWS?  I know many schools are 
> now using this program.
> 2.  I don't want to be left out in the planning process.  When I started 
> this current job three years ago, the district paid someone to modify the 
> SASI modules, which is the program we use now, so that I could do some of 
> the record keeping.  The rest of the programs were left for my para to 
> work with.  She can best be described as incompetent.  There have been 
> many problems, particularly with the IEP forms.  What can I do to make 
> sure that I am up and ready to go with our new Infinite Campus program 
> next fall just like any of the other teachers?  When we have training this 
> spring, can I expect the company and the school district to have a 
> computer with JAWS available so that I can go through the training?
> 3.  Does the company that produces the Infinite Campus have to make this 
> program accessible to me, or is it the responsibility of the school 
> district?
> Please provide me with some ideas.  I am excited to use the program if it 
> will allow independence in most areas.  My hope is to spend my last ten 
> years or so of teaching with a system that I can use, only having to do 
> updates just as anyone else does.  Thanks for listening.
> Darrell Walla
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