[nobe-l] need advice

via nobe-l nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Sat May 24 19:14:20 UTC 2014

My apologies.   My one sentence should  read.....
"Interestingly enough, I had colleagues that were sitting next  to me that 
were sharing things with me (since I COULDN'T see it)....and we ended  up 
getting called out for talking, as if we are 5 years old. "  
In a message dated 5/24/2014 3:05:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
nobe-l at nfbnet.org writes:

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 
(large  print)
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, 
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 
right support.   


In a message dated 5/24/2014 11:02:03 A.M.  Eastern Daylight Time,  
bookwormahb at earthlink.net  writes:

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 
treatment we  get.
I'd love to see the  day when everyone in schools respects staff  
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 
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  
might need a  couple reasonable accommodations.  For 10 years  or so,  the
district’s  administration was very helpful and very  willing to  provide 
reasonable  accommodations to me I  requested.    I certainly wasn’t pushy 
asked for  things that were   essential.  They were always more  than  
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 
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  
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 

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,  

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.   
with the  signed   agreement and my dismissal of the complaint, that we’d 
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, 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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.    
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 
work with the current   administration and have  tried to be understanding  
forgiving.   I’ve given them chances to make   things  right and do the 
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,
nobe-l   mailing   list
nobe-l at nfbnet.org
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