[nobe-l] need advice

Kathy Nimmer via nobe-l nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Sat May 24 20:14:26 UTC 2014

  To me, it is not even about what the accommodation was or how essential it 
was. The point is that they agreed to it, and that means they should have 
abided by that agreement. Even if the speaker was presenting a topic that 
was less intricate, if they said they would have the info for you, they 
should have had it. I think it is time to consult outside sources as if you 
do nothing, you are silently condoning their behavior and letting them set a 
precedent for future meetings. If you stay with the same path you followed 
before, you are looking at a probable extension of your frustration time 
with little hope that things will turn out differently. That is not good for 
your confidence and performance, especially because this evaluation beast is 
a tricky, tricky thing that can easily overwhelm. I have taught in the same 
school for twenty-two years, and while my administration has changed, I 
luckily have felt no change of support along the way. I anticipate probably 
finishing my career in this school, and I hope that this consistency will 
remain for the ten or so years I have left. I'm sorry that has not been your 
experience, Nicole. Let us know what you end up doing.

Kathy Nimmer
"Why should your heart not dance?" C.S. Lewis
-----Original Message----- 
From: via nobe-l
Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2014 3:04 PM
To: bookwormahb at earthlink.net ; nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] need advice

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, 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
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 the
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 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
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
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
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.    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
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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nobe-l at nfbnet.org
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