[NOBE-L] NOBE-L Digest, Vol 208, Issue 2

Tish Kooper tkoop35 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 5 00:40:37 UTC 2021

Greetings Precious as well as Marisa!

I can relate to each of your comments. First, I am a second master's
student at the University of Central Florida, as well as, my first
Bachelor's was in K-6 Education requiring a two part student teaching
practicum. My first student teaching experience as first grade gifted and
the second was a regular third grad classroom. Both posses their one unique
set of challenges. At UCF, I have mostly experienced issues with online
course offerings being  a person who is visually impaired, and the lack of
knowledge professors have on the proper way to set up a Canvas course that
is accessible to blind/low vision persons. Not to get into great detail,
but to offer myself up as a sounding board. I have a different perspective
than most when it comes to accommodations and would not mind discussing
such with you.

A big issue I have faced is receiving the proper approved
accommodations for the GRE!

You can reach me at: tkoop35 at gmail.com

I second Marisa...you are not alone! The frustration is shared by many.


On Sat, Sep 4, 2021 at 8:02 AM <nobe-l-request at nfbnet.org> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re: seeking advice around student teaching issues (Marisa Lucca)
>    2. ISLAND Conference: Sept. 17-18 virtual (rjaquiss)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 17:23:33 -0400
> From: Marisa Lucca <lucca.marisa at gmail.com>
> To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List
>         <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: Re: [NOBE-L] seeking advice around student teaching issues
> Message-ID:
>         <CAJdCFSTXHLmuFmaV8j8UthhRehHb==
> 020HO-XgVTV5yWZQCaVQ at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> Hello Precious,
> My name is Marisa Lucca, and I am a doctoral candidate at the University of
> Central Florida in the Department of Sociology. I am deafblind and have
> used disability accommodations throughout my academic career. I want you to
> know that you are not alone in your experience of forced and delayed
> accommodations nor the frustration, uncertainty, and anxiety that
> accompanies your experiences.
> As a business degree undergraduate student who had to complete practicum
> projects, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the university would
> accommodate me via a tactile sign language interpreter and real-time
> virtual captioning services. I told the disability services staff that I am
> not tactile sign language proficient and the additional accommodations
> would not work for me.
> Still, disability services staff ignored my accommodation requests of a
> Disability Support Specialist and Advocate, a professional who, among many
> things, specializes in environmental and communication access for persons
> with dual vision and hearing loss. I was frustrated because I knew what
> accommodations I needed to meet my student obligations successfully, yet
> disability administrators felt they knew my needs better than I did.
> I felt uncertain because I did not know what rights or what grounds I had
> to insist that the accommodations the disability staff forced upon me were
> ineffective and unnecessary. I was anxious because I feared the
> consequences of refusing the accommodations given to me?fears of
> retaliation, failure, loss of other needed accommodations, and delayed
> progress toward degree completion. Delays in accommodation provisions
> further compounded the emotional turmoil.
> I am not familiar with teaching licensure requirements in any state, let
> alone the activities involved in your training. However, no matter our
> circumstances, no college or university can dictate when we need
> accommodations. Suppose you feel you do not require an assistant as an
> accommodation to complete the practicum. In that case, the college does not
> have grounds to impose an assistant upon you. Additionally, accommodations
> must be provided in sufficient time to facilitate contemporaneous access.
> In other words, accommodation provisions should give you access at the same
> time, not after, other students have access. You cannot be penalized for
> underperformance or no performance in your teacher-student duties resulting
> from delayed accommodations.
> Also, if an assistant is what you need, there is nothing wrong with using
> an assistant as an accommodation for visual access. Our independence is not
> what we do by ourselves without assistance; independence is choosing
> whether and how we use resources and relationships to achieve our goals.
> Some people detest the use of assistants; other people feel they do not
> need one. Still, others feel that assistants are necessary to achieve
> self-defined performance standards and keep pace with sighted colleagues.
> Whatever the case, the key is to claim accommodations that work for you and
> your circumstance.
> I know from experience that dealing with the problem in real-time under
> time constraints is overwhelming, and that might be an understatement.
> Also, I have learned from experience that sharing my frustrations and
> problem-solving with an access professional, colleagues with disabilities,
> and students who confronted similar situations was quite helpful.
> My colleagues and I are happy to serve as a sounding board and exchange
> ideas and lessons learned from our experience resisting disabling practices
> in higher education and teaching contexts. Remember, you are not alone in
> your experience, and we are here to offer support and solidarity when you
> need it. Please feel free to reach out (lucca.marisa at gmail.com).
> In solidarity,
> Marisa
> On Thu, Sep 2, 2021 at 2:42 PM Precious Perez via NOBE-L <
> nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
> wrote:
> > Hello,
> > I hope this message finds you well. I am reaching out to seek  advice
> > around student teaching issues that I am having currently. I am in my
> final
> > semester at Berkeley College of music, and my final requirement is my
> > student teaching practicum. I started meeting with everyone involved on
> the
> > team in May to finalize my accommodations, and I was told that I would
> need
> > an assistant in order to be able to complete some of the visual
> > requirements for assessment as far as practicum goes in order to get my
> > licensure via the state department and their guidelines. when I asked
> why I
> > needed another person with me in the classroom, they said that there were
> > some things that needed to be assessed visually, and that?s why I would
> > need it. Since then, there have been threads of emails back-and-forth,
> and
> > I?ve helped vet  some candidates. At the end of July, we vetted a
> candidate
> > that was promising, and I assumed all was well. At the beginning of
> August,
> > this month, my second placement could no longer support me, so they
> needed
> > to find another. When I asked about how to proceed, they said that they
> > were doing their best to ensure that I was covered and that I would have
> > more information soon. It is now almost the end of the first week for the
> > school district that my elementary placement is in, and the week before
> the
> > Berklee semester starts. I still have no information after sending a
> > follow-up email requesting that I get information about my placements, my
> > schedule, and the assistant. I found out today that the assistant I had
> > helped  vet last month took another job, and the accessibility department
> > thought that this had been communicated in earlier threads of emails. I
> was
> > asked to conduct another interview tomorrow afternoon, still with no
> > knowledge of a schedule or any information despite the assurance that
> this
> > is their priority and they are doing everything they can. At this point,
> I
> > feel that if they were doing everything they could, this wouldn?t be
> > happening right now. I?m worried that the longer I wait And allow myself
> to
> > keep getting the runaround when  I ask for information, the longer it?s
> > going to take for them to solidify somebody, thus, delaying my timeline
> for
> > everything. I don?t think that I need an assistant to be able to complete
> > all of this, and I don?t think it should be required, but I get the sense
> > that they will tell me that I cannot start anything without my assistant
> if
> > I try to rescind the accommodation. I can?t do anything on my own without
> > their go ahead Given the chain of command and the process for completing
> > requirements, so I?m stuck. I wanted to reach out to this list in the
> hopes
> > that other blind educators might have some wisdom to offer. Any thoughts
> > would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope
> to
> > hear back soon.
> >
> > All best,
> >
> > Precious
> > Sent from my iPhone
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> --
> Marisa Lucca, MPA
> C: 386.597.3521 (Voice/Text)
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 20:26:42 -0600
> From: "rjaquiss" <rjaquiss at earthlink.net>
> To: <pibe-division at nfbnet.org>, <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Cc: <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: [NOBE-L] ISLAND Conference: Sept. 17-18 virtual
> Message-ID: <000401d7a134$4da48d40$e8eda7c0$@earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"
> Hello:
> ISLAND Conference 2021 Announcement
> The Inclusion in Science, Learning A New Direction, Conference on
> Disability
> and STEM will be held virtually on Friday, September 17 and Saturday,
> September 18, 2021.
> The conference is hosted by Princeton University.
> This year's conference is free and open to the public, as well as to
> Princeton University students, staff, and faculty. All are welcome!
> Since 2010, the Inclusion in Science Learning A New Direction (ISLAND)
> conference on disability and STEM has provided a forum to address how
> persons with disabilities can be more fully integrated into Science,
> Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This is a space for
> professionals, students, researchers, access technology developers,
> parents,
> and service providers to meet and network for this purpose.
> For more information regarding registration and other details, go to:
> "https://islandconference.org/".
> ------------------------------
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> End of NOBE-L Digest, Vol 208, Issue 2
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