[nobe-l] need advice

Ashley Bramlett via nobe-l nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Sat May 24 15:01:58 UTC 2014

sounds tough.
I'd file a complaint outside the school. If there is a helpful nfb rep in 
your state, you might have them come to the meetings.

Which accomodation did you need in the training that was not provided?

I'm glad you made it over 10 years. I am considering special ed either 
teaching blind kids or learning disabled ones so am on this list.

Its interesting to see one administration really makes a difference in the 
treatment we get.
I'd love to see the day when everyone in schools respects staff reguardless 
of their abilities.
-----Original Message----- 
From: via nobe-l
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 10:59 PM
To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nobe-l] need advice

I am not one to put messages on the  list very often and when I do, it is
typically responding to someone else’s  message.
I am looking for some advice from  others though…to get an idea of what
others might do in my situation.  I apologize for the length.
Just some quick background  information first.  I am legally  blind.   I am
finishing my  12th year of teaching in an inner city public school system
as a  special education teacher.  I have  taught in the same school district
for my entire career.  They hired me knowing that I was legally  blind and
might need a couple reasonable accommodations.  For 10 years or so, the
district’s  administration was very helpful and very willing to provide any
reasonable  accommodations to me I requested.   I certainly wasn’t pushy and 
asked for things that were  essential.  They were always more  than willing
to comply with my requests and never questioned anything.   Even during
those 10 years, I had  several different principals, 2 different Special
Education directors, and a  couple different Superintendents that I worked 
For the most part, with the  exception of one principal that caused
problems for everyone, I had no issues  with any administration and any 
requests I
made.  The one issue I did have with the  principal, the Superintendent at
the time quickly corrected the issue.
In the last couple years, we have  acquired a new Superintendent, a new
Special Education director, and new  principals.   The response I  have
received from the current administration has been very different.
At the beginning of December of last  year, I made a request for a
reasonable accommodation to my principals.   They ignored my request.  I 
again asked
a couple more times,  getting more specific and more direct each time…
.while still being professional  and respectful.  I was still  ignored. 
Then at
the beginning of  January, I contacted the Superintendent in an attempt to
resolve the issue,  which had worked the one other time I had had issues 
a  principal.  The Superintendent also ignored my  attempt to contact him
and never responded.  After discussing it with our union’s  attorney (who
also happens to practice disability law), it was decided that I  would file 
internal ADA complaint within the district.   I filed the complaint and
chose to  have our union’s attorney act as my representation.   The district
contacted their  attorney who then contacted my attorney.   After some
discussion and despite  my anger, I agreed to mediate the issue without the 
having to go  through the investigation process first.   Although I was
angry because I felt  that the district’s actions were totally out of line 
unnecessary, I was not  going into this with an attitude of “I’m out to get
them”.   I just wanted to continue to be  treated in the same manner I had
been for 10 years and be provided reasonable  accommodations when I
requested them, nothing more.   We held a meeting where it was  myself, my 
the district’s attorney, and administration.   We came to a written and
signed  agreement between the district and myself as to the reasonable
accommodations  that I needed and the district was willing to provide.   I 
with the signed  agreement and my dismissal of the complaint, that we’d all
be able to move on  and I’d get what I needed.  The  agreement was supposed
to be distributed to all administrators that I work with  or under so that
they were aware of the agreement and its contents.   About 2 weeks later, I
was  speaking to one of the administrators and I mentioned the 
they  seemed to be unaware of the agreement or its contents.  This concerned
me.  I asked a couple other administrators  and received the same response.
So  I called my attorney and told her my concerns.  I said “How can I
expect these people to  follow an agreement that they don’t even seem to be
aware of?  I mean, that doesn’t seem very fair to  them.”   She then 
the  district’s attorney and we ended up on a three-way conference call.   I
explained my concerns.  She did have documentation that all the
administration had been informed of it but stated that she would make 
contact  again
with the Superintendent’s office and tell them that they needed to check
again with their administrators to ensure they were well aware of the 
and expectations.  Again, I wasn’t  out to “get them”…I was simply just
trying to prevent another issue.   This was like 2 months ago.
So, now comes today.  I was at a district level professional  development
meeting in which I was to be provided a reasonable accommodation  that would
allow me gain the information I needed and fully participate in the
professional development.  Mind you,  this professional development is 
and training on our new state level  teacher evaluation system….which in
turn, directly correlates to my evaluation  and ultimately, my job.   So, 
it is extremely important stuff.  The accommodation I was to be provided
today was on the signed agreement  we made months ago.  The two
administrators who ran the professional development were both people who 
were  provided
the information….one of which was ironically, the Special Education
director.   Despite the  agreement, I was not provided the accommodation. 
I had to
go through the training  without it.   Needless to say,  I am angry and
frustrated.   I  had 10 great years with no issues.   I’ve tried very hard 
work with the current administration and have  tried to be understanding and
forgiving.   I’ve given them chances to make  things right and do the right
thing.   They just don’t seem to care!!!
So, my question is……..what avenue  would you do next?  Would you try  and
mediate yet again, even though they are obviously refusing to follow the
agreement that is already made?   Would you file a complaint outside the
district?   What direction would you take from  here?   What suggestions do 
Any thoughts are  appreciated!
Thanks in  advance,
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