[nobe-l] need advice
nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Sat May 24 19:04:11 UTC 2014
They had two options.....
1) They could provide me the materials and presentation ahead of time via
email so that I could print them off and make them in accessible format
2) They could provide me the materials and presentation in large print
format that day.
They did neither.
Interestingly enough, I had colleagues that were sitting next to me that
were sharing things with me (since I could see it).....and we ended up
getting called out for talking, as if we are 5 years old. At that point, I
wanted to really tell them what I thought....but I refrained.
Ashley, it makes a world of difference as to who the administration is.
My experiences have definitely shown me this.
Good luck with future endeavors in education. It is very doable with the
In a message dated 5/24/2014 11:02:03 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
bookwormahb at earthlink.net writes:
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
of their abilities.
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
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
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
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
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
a couple more times, getting more specific and more direct each time…
.while still being professional and respectful. I was still ignored.
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
internal ADA complaint within the district. I filed the complaint and
chose to have our union’s attorney act as my representation. The
contacted their attorney who then contacted my attorney. After some
discussion and despite my anger, I agreed to mediate the issue without
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
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
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
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.
explained my concerns. She did have documentation that all the
administration had been informed of it but stated that she would make
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
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
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
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
Any thoughts are appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
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