[nobe-l] More questions for Kathy was: RE: Quietly Iintroducemyself

Anita Adkins aadkins7 at verizon.net
Tue Feb 16 01:05:11 UTC 2010


I just want to say I agree with the statement that the fewer accomodations 
needed, the more likely it is for one to get hired.  If we think of this 
from a business standpoint, employers are more willing to hire us if we can 
be efficient and productive.  Yes, maybe they are supposed to make 
accomodations for us, but if we can make them ourselves, we are much more 
likely to land the job.  This does not mean that we should not ask for 
needed accomodations.  It just means that we need to see if we can discover 
our own way to make it work and ask for assistance when we are not able to 
accomplish the job on our own.  For example, hiring your own reader and 
providing your own transportation is something that you can most likely do 
for yourself.  Grading papers as an English teacher, as another example, may 
be accomplished by requiring students to hand them in an electronic format 
that is accessible.  A reader may be needed when it is necessary to grade 
students' handwriting, for instance.  Due to confidentiality, it may be 
necessary to have a reader provided by the school, but it is important to 
explore to see if your own reader can do this job.  For one of my education 
classes, I worked with at-risk kids in an after school program.  I brought a 
raised line drawing kit to the sessions with me, and the 6-year-old I was 
working with wrote letters on the board for me.  She thought it was neat 
drawing on the board, and I, myself, was able to examine her handwriting to 
see how she was doing.  I have made it my mission to learn print letters.  I 
know capital letters, but currently, I am tackling lower case letters.  To 
get back on topic, n a nutshell, find a way to do the job on your own; ask 
for accomodations when you can't do it on your own.  When an employer asks 
you how you can do something, don't say "I will need you to provide..." 
Rather say, "I can accomplish this task by using this or that alternative 

Also, I believe it is most helpful when trying to get a job to make a 
contact or contacts in the field. This can be done through volunteering. 
(If a job is available, of course, take it in place of volunteer work).  By 
volunteering, you are showing a possible employer that you do possess the 
skills and that you do have the abilities to do the job.  I was hired at a 
position because I first volunteered doing it.  While volunteering, I not 
only demonstrated my ability to teach, but I also made contacts.  Now, when 
I do go into teaching, I will have someone to provide me with a good word.

Just for those who don't know me, I am a nontraditional student, as I am 32 
years old.  I have worked as a Braille proofreader, a web 
accessibility/usability analyst, a sewer, and a rehabilitation teacher.  I 
am now interested in working in the field of blindness, and I decided to 
return to school to get a degree that will allow me to do this.  I do not 
know all of the answers, and I do look forward to learning from everyone on 
this list.  Thanks in advance for all of your help and encouragement.  Anita

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marianne" <mdenning at cinci.rr.com>
To: "National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List" 
<nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 7:26 PM
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] More questions for Kathy was: RE: Quietly 

> Hope, the fewer accomodations you need the more likely a school district 
> is to consider you for a position.  Have you thought about working with 
> students who are ESL learners?
> I am in my first year of teaching and I do not have any accomodations.  I 
> have all of my own equipment.  You could probably get the Spanish book in 
> a text format and download it onto your Braillenote or other notetaker. 
> You would need help grading papers unless you had the students use the 
> computer and either email them to you or print them out.
> There are ways to work many things out but you need to have a lot of the 
> answers because the school system will not have them.  I think OSEP which 
> stands for Office of Special Education Programs is pushing school 
> districts to hire more people with disabilities.  I wouldn't use this as a 
> weapon against a school district but it is good information to have.
> Marianne
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Hope Paulos" <hope.paulos at maine.edu>
> To: "National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List" 
> <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 6:20 PM
> Subject: [nobe-l] More questions for Kathy was: RE: Quietly I 
> introducemyself
>> Hi Kathy. I have obtained my secondary education Bachelor's degree with a 
>> focus on Spanish. I read in your message  that it is highly unlikely that 
>> a totally blind person would be hired at a public school. I agree with 
>> that statement-- have spoken to many principals when taking education 
>> classes. My question, though, is what accommodations did you require from 
>> the school when they hired you? Did you do anything different that made 
>> you stand out so they *would* hire you, rather than look at other 
>> qualified  applicants? The reason I ask, is because I'm looking for a 
>> teaching job. At the moment, I don't have a masters in teaching of the 
>> blind/visually impaired. I'd like to get a teaching job while I work on 
>> obtaining my masters.
>> Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Kathy Nimmer" <goldendolphin17 at hotmail.com>
>> To: "blind teachers" <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 3:40 PM
>> Subject: Re: [nobe-l] Quietly I introduce myself
>>> Hello everyone,
>>>  Well, I've sure enjoyed seeing the discussions from so many to-be 
>>> teachers.  It is hopeful to me that people are entering the training 
>>> process with an eye on this field, even though the odds are against them 
>>> for hiring in a normal public school classroom.  I am someone who was 
>>> fortunate to go against those odds. I am in my eighteenth year of 
>>> teaching English and creative writing in a normal high school classroom 
>>> in a large public school in Indiana.  Never would I claim to have all 
>>> the answers to what must be many questions, but I am willing to give 
>>> some of them a shot. I know I might be in a position to help those of 
>>> you in college and looking toward a teaching job, so I invite you to ask 
>>> away. I even had one list member come out to my neck of the woods to 
>>> observe for three days this past August, a wonderful experience for both 
>>> of us. She is student teaching right now. Again, nothing I do is the 
>>> ideal or perfect answer for everyone else, but I do do it and have for 
>>> seve!
>>> ral years, not with success early on but with success far more often 
>>> than not now.  Should we change the subject line if we're going to do an 
>>> open back and forth q/a?  In between scanning and grading fifty 
>>> historical short stories his weekend, I'll gladly offer my limited 
>>> wisdom and will probably end up learning more from you than you do from 
>>> me!  Hear from you soon.
>>> Kathy Nimmer: Teacher, Author, Motivational Speaker
>>> http://www.servicedogstories.com
>>> http://guidedogjourney.livejournal.com
>>> Even if the shadows of the valley hide your view,
>>> You still must believe in the mountains.
>>>> From: iamantonio at cox.net
>>>> To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org
>>>> Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:07:49 -0500
>>>> Subject: [nobe-l] Quietly I introduce myself
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I hope we are all busy at teaching, or learning how to teach, since I 
>>>> have gotten no mail from this list in the past couple of weeks since 
>>>> subscribing.
>>>> I am a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island, 
>>>> and subscribed here because I am at school to become a social studies 
>>>> teacher.
>>>> Some of you may know me from the NABS list, or the NFB of Florida, or 
>>>> the NFB of Massachusetts, and some of you will come to know me as a 
>>>> student at Western Governors University.
>>>> This online university is where I currently attend, and it is where I 
>>>> will obtain a bachelors in social studies teaching 5/12.
>>>> I am optimistic about getting a job after graduation, and I expect my 
>>>> hopes of employment to become realized. In other words, I want to, and 
>>>> expect to land a job.
>>>> Right now all I can do is to work hard at school, and hope for a 
>>>> bright, if hectic teaching career.
>>>> I have no specific questions at the moment, but hope to see some list 
>>>> traffic.
>>>> Are there blind teachers here? what do you teach, and are you listed in 
>>>> Where the Blind Work?
>>>> Sincerely,
>>>> Antonio Guimaraes
>>>> If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of 
>>>> pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite 
>>>> number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's 
>>>> great literary works in Braille.
>>>> Shop online and support the NFB of RI at no additional cost to you.
>>>> http://www.givebackamerica.com/charity.php?b=169
>>>> Givebackamerica.org, America's Online Charity Shopping Mall
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