[nobe-l] record keeping programs

darrell walla dwalla at cox.net
Sun Dec 7 16:04:22 UTC 2008

Thanks.  Those are great suggestions.  I have found that in using sighted 
readers who are not familiar with the system; there can be problems.  In my 
job with Special Education, there is no margin for error.  If someone screws 
up, I want to be me and then I'll take responsibility.  I am far to busy to 
have to worry about hiring readers.  We have the technology in our society, 
so I strongly feel that it needs to be accessible to me.  I am not implying 
that you or anyone else is not busy, but these IEPS are legal documents, and 
because of a bad para, I trust no one.  Thanks for your input.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kathy McGillivray" <kjm at usfamily.net>
To: "National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List" 
<nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 6:08 PM
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] record keeping programs

> 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, yourself.
> 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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