[nobe-l] need advice

via nobe-l nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Sat May 24 19:58:05 UTC 2014

That is a very interesting approach!  Never thought about  doing something 
like that but is something to ponder.  I do have the  personality type...in 
that, I am outspoken and can be somewhat bold at times,  that would lend 
itself to something like that.  My concern with this  administration though is 
that they are ruthless and most likely would give me a  written reprimand 
for refusing to attend the required training because it would  be considered 
Thanks for sharing!
In a message dated 5/24/2014 3:44:08 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
sarah at sarahaclark.com writes:

My  husband once worked with someone who had an interesting approach to the 
issue of not receiving materials in an accessible form at meetings. This  
was a high level programmer with IBM. When a meeting would start and  
materials were handed out and were not provided to him in a form that he  
could read, he would simply stand up and say "its clear I am not needed  
here" and excuse himself and walk out. Its something I would be very  
to do.


----- Original  Message ----- 
From: "via nobe-l" <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
To:  <bookwormahb at earthlink.net>; <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent:  Saturday, May 24, 2014 12:04 PM
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] need  advice

> Ashley,
> They had two options.....
> 1)  They could provide me the materials and presentation ahead  of time  
> email so that I could print them off and make them in  accessible  format
> (large print)
> OR
> 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  
> 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 
> right support.
>  Nicole
> In a message dated 5/24/2014  11:02:03 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> bookwormahb at earthlink.net  writes:
> Nicole,
> sounds tough.
> I'd file a  complaint outside the  school. If there is a helpful nfb rep 
>  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.
> Ashley
> -----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
> Hi,
> 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.   
> am
>  finishing my  12th year of teaching in an  inner city public school  
> 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
> only
> 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  
> Education  directors, and a  couple different Superintendents  that I 
>  worked
> under.
> 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  
> 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.  
> 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  
> with
> a   principal.  The Superintendent  also ignored my  attempt to contact 
> him
> and never  responded.  After discussing it with our union’s   attorney  
> also happens to practice disability law), it was decided  that  I  would
> file
> an
> 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
> district
> 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
> and
> 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
> attorney,
> 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
> thought
> 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 
> I
> was  speaking to one of  the  administrators and I mentioned the
> agreement….and
> 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 
> be
> aware of?  I mean, that   doesn’t seem very fair to  them.”   She then
>  contacted
> 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
> agreement
>  and expectations.  Again, I wasn’t  out to “get  them”…I was  simply 
> trying to prevent another issue.   This   was like 2 months ago.
> So, now comes today.  I was at a district  level  professional  
> 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
> information
> and training on   our new state level  teacher evaluation system….which in
>  turn,  directly correlates to my evaluation  and ultimately, my job.  
> So,
> yes,
> 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 
> 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
> to
> 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  
> mediate yet again,  even though they are obviously  refusing to follow the
> agreement  that is already made?   Would  you file a complaint outside  
> district?   What direction would  you take  from  here?   What suggestions
> do
> you
>  have?
> Any thoughts are  appreciated!
> Thanks  in   advance,
> Nicole
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