[Ohio-talk] voc rehab and unreasonable acommodations

Marianne Denning marianne at denningweb.com
Fri Oct 9 12:08:24 UTC 2015


Annette, you bring up some good points so I have changed the subject
to reflect your concerns.

I think training for people who are receiving rehab services would be
terrific.  I am advocating for families with children in school who
are visually impaired.  Maybe we need something similar so blind
adults can learn to successfully advocate for ourselves.  I have tried
to get schools interested in teaching advocacy to high school students
with disabilities but there is no interest so many people continue
into adulthood without this critical skill.  If we learn to advocate
than we can have more control in determining how we interact with voc
rehab.

I hope othrs will comment.



On 10/7/15, Annette Lutz via Ohio-talk <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I have been reading this thread with quite a bit of interest, because, like
> the rest of you, I have had the "wheelchair" argument in airports.  Deborah,
> your article was great, and showed our point of view exactly.  Your
> expression of the frustration was right on.  I have to say that I feel bad
> for the workers who are the ones who are stuck between our frustration and
> the unreasonable dictates of their employers, feeling that they have to make
> us use the wheelchair against our wishes or feel the fear of loosing their
> jobs.  The answer is definitely education at the higher levels.
>
> However, I wanted to take this discussion another direction.  I have been
> particuliarly interested in the legal discussion concerning the ADA and our
> right to decide what accomodations are appropriate for us as blind people.
> Does this right also extend to the area of vocational rehabilitation.  In a
> sense, the entire concept of VR is an accommodation for those of us with
> disabilities to find and keep employment.  Their purpose is to assist
> disabled people in the areas of training and accessability to make us
> employable on the same level as non-disabled people.  However, just like in
> the airport, we as those disabled people are subjected to many inappropriate
> "accomodations."  Just like the unrequired wheelchair, we are accommodated
> to such items as psychological evaluations and basic work skills
> assessments, solely due to our blindness.  I have said it before, it is just
> as ridiculous as a wheelchair for some who is blind who is asking for
> assistance, as it is for a psychological evaluation for someone with the
> same blindness.  I have personally known blind people with advanced college
> degrees put through the indignity of having to have skills assessments where
> they were forced to sort nuts and bolts, or count items into groups of 100.
> This is just as ridiculous as the forced wheelchair for a blind person, and
> is even more dangerous because instead of only being a short time of
> embarrassment and frustration, it is a long-term process that someone is
> forced into just to get a job.  On top of this, the idea of using the
> justification of how much case services dollars is used as the excuse for
> such ridiculous assessments, when these assessments are using said dollars
> to be performed in the first place.
>
> I guess what I am getting at is the "wheelchair" problem is more pervasive
> in our society than just at the airports.  Even though I completely applaud
> any efforts to curb this, and allow our travels to be more pleasant, I
> believe that the larger battle is still in front of us.  How do we use this
> law to bring true accomodations that are appropriate to the VR world?
>
> Just a question to ponder.
>
> Annette
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Deborah
> Kendrick via Ohio-talk
> Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2015 8:52 AM
> To: 'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'
> Cc: Deborah Kendrick
> Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read
>
> Marianne,
> This is so funny that I just might have to quote your idea in a future
> column!  Make everybody take a white cane, oh yeah!  Brilliant!
> Actually, I have noticed a distinct difference between airlines and have
> done a little informal digging, which is why the reference in the column to
> some getting it right and others not.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
> barbara.pierce9366--- via Ohio-talk
> Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2015 8:18 AM
> To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List
> Cc: barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com
> Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read
>
> Maybe we should demand oxygen and a gurney as well. We might as well make as
> big a splash as possible.
> Barbara
> Barbara Pierce
> President Emerita
> National Federation of the Blind of Ohio Barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com
> 440-774-8077
> The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
> characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
> expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
> between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
> blindness is not what holds you back.
>
>> On Oct 6, 2015, at 4:25 PM, Marianne Denning via Ohio-talk
>> <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>
>> I have done just a little research and it seems like rules are
>> different from airline to airline and maybe even from air port to air
>> port.  That makes it impossible for us to know what to expect as we
>> travel. When should we stand up and refuse the wheelchair and when
>> should we just let it go? I think the next time I will not only demand
>> a wheelchair but also a communication device because I obviously can't
>> hear and maybe an interpreter because I can't speak English either.  I
>> think all people in wheelchairs should have to use a white cane too.
>>
>> On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 4:16 PM, Debra Baker via Ohio-talk <
>> ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>
>>> I wouldn't be surprised at all if that were their thinking.  Injury
>>> or not, as a result of the escort's help.  They're seeming to run
>>> scared of being fired; thus, liability.
>>>
>>> Debbie Baker
>>>
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>>> Marianne Denning via Ohio-talk
>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 3:52 PM
>>> To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List
>>> Cc: Marianne Denning
>>> Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read
>>>
>>> I wonder if they insist that we ride in a wheelchair because of
>>> liability if their escort injures us in any way?  It is crazy but just a
>>> thought.
>>>
>>> On 10/6/15, Deborah Kendrick via Ohio-talk <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>> Cheryl,
>>>> If you could locate that block of text, I would be inclined to send
>>>> it to the offending airline along with my column.
>>>> I didn't name them because I was already over allotted length and to
>>>> name the bad guy would have led to naming the goodguys, too, and
>>>> there just wasn't room.  But it has occurred to me that I should
>>>> figure out how to get this info to the folks who might do something
>>>> about it.
>>>> And Marianne, do please tell us the Philadelphia story!  Reading
>>>> your last comment has me on the edge of my proverbial seat!
>>>>
>>>> Deborah
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>>>> Cheryl Fischer via Ohio-talk
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 3:09 PM
>>>> To: 'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'
>>>> Cc: Cheryl Fischer
>>>> Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read
>>>>
>>>> What about the line(s) in the ADA that say that a person with a
>>>> disability should have say in what accommodation they receive, if
>>>> any, and that no accommodation that the person with the disability
>>>> says is inappropriate for them may be forced upon them?  I wonder if
>>>> a page or so of the ADA with this part highlighted might help, if
>>>> not at the moment we are treated wrongly, then afterward if we make
>>>> a public issue of the incident and/or the ongoing problem.
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>>>> Marianne Denning via Ohio-talk
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 12:14 PM
>>>> To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List
>>>> Cc: Marianne Denning
>>>> Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read
>>>>
>>>> You are so right about that Barbara.  I don't think the Philadelphia
>>>> airport will ever let me back in again because of the reputation I
>>>> earned on my last trip through there.  (smile)
>>>>
>>>> On 10/6/15, barbara.pierce9366--- via Ohio-talk
>>>> <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> This is a home run. I love the way you capture the exhaustion and
>>>>> desperation. These things never seem to happen when we are fresh
>>>>> and patient.
>>>>>
>>>>> Barbara
>>>>> Barbara Pierce
>>>>> President Emerita
>>>>> National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
>>>>> Barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com
>>>>> 440-774-8077
>>>>> The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not
>>>>> the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we
>>>>> raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations
>>>>> create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live
>>>>> the life you zwant; blindness is not what holds you back.
>>>>>
>>>>>> On Oct 5, 2015, at 10:26 PM, Marianne Denning via Ohio-talk
>>>>>> <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> This is excellent and so true.  Next step, what can we do about this?
>>>>>> I have had the same thing happen on many occasions.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 10/5/15, Eric Duffy via Ohio-talk <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>>>>> This is a good read. The problem Deborah describes continues to
>>>>>>> be a problem for many of us. Spread the word. Let people know
>>>>>>> that Deborah’s experience
>>>>>>> is not an    isolated incident. .
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Eric
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Deborah Kendrick commentary: Airports can mean humiliation for
>>>>>>> some travelers. A recent midnight flight from San Francisco to
>>>>>>> Cincinnati held the elements all blind travelers dread most: The
>>>>>>> moment when one disability is mistaken for another, and
>>>>>>> deep-rooted misconceptions engender humiliation. When the last
>>>>>>> plane landed, I'd been traveling for 13 hours.
>>>>>>> It
>>>>>>> was 11:00 a.m., and I was exhausted. Here is the scenario. My
>>>>>>> ride home is in the cell phone lot. I ask the gate agent if
>>>>>>> someone can walk with me.
>>>>>>> This is a simple enough request and one I have made hundreds of
>>>>>>> times in dozens of airports. I am a blind person carrying a long
>>>>>>> white cane. My request is for someone to walk with me who knows
>>>>>>> the way. The gate agent is smart, courteous, eager to assist. She
>>>>>>> makes the call. ... And another.
>>>>>>> ...
>>>>>>> And another. When five minutes has gone by, I am impatient. At
>>>>>>> ten, I am agitated. At twenty, with a red-eye flight behind me
>>>>>>> and the knowledge that my ride home is just a few minutes' walk
>>>>>>> away, I am close to meltdown. I hear the agent say into the
>>>>>>> phone, "No, she doesn't need a wheelchair.
>>>>>>> Just
>>>>>>> needs someone to walk with her. At 25 minutes, the somewhat
>>>>>>> embarrassed gate agent comes over where I am leaning on the wall,
>>>>>>> trying not to cry, wishing I weren't so tired and could just
>>>>>>> start walking, exploring, figuring it out.
>>>>>>> "The problem," she informs me, "is that they won't come unless
>>>>>>> you will sit in the wheelchair. She is apologetic, sees the folly
>>>>>>> of this supposed "rule". But I am ready to disassemble with
>>>>>>> fatigue and humiliation and thus I acquiesce. The young woman who
>>>>>>> comes with the wheelchair tells me that if I don't sit in it, she
>>>>>>> will be
>>> fired.
>>>>>>> She will either leave me here or I will ride. I sit down. For the
>>>>>>> half-mile distance from gate to exit, I pray no one sees me who
>>>>>>> knows me. Don't get me wrong. There is no shame in using a
>>>>>>> wheelchair. For my friends who use them with purpose, the
>>>>>>> wheelchair is a tool of freedom and flight and euphoria. No, for
>>>>>>> me, the shame was rooted in the fear that others would think me a
>>>>>>> shirker, a faker, a jerk able to walk who commandeered some
>>>>>>> deserving passenger's wheelchair. The subtext here, the message
>>>>>>> conveyed, is
>>>>>>> this: Because I happen to be blind, I am not worthy of the same
>>>>>>> respect as any other paying passenger. If I need assistance, I
>>>>>>> will shut up, sit down, be addressed like a child (or piece of
>>>>>>> furniture), and be grateful. This, regrettably, is not an
>>>>>>> isolated incident. I have scores of stories from others - blind
>>>>>>> lawyers, athletes, and CEO's -- recounting similar nightmares.
>>>>>>> Kaiti Shelton, a University of Dayton music therapy major,
>>>>>>> returned from a college abroad trip in June. The emotional high
>>>>>>> sparked by success in another country, the joy of having been
>>>>>>> treated as an equal by the residents there and her fellow college
>>>>>>> students, plummeted quickly in an American airport. She, too, was
>>>>>>> given the ultimatum "no wheelchair, no assistance. Eric Duffy of
>>>>>>> Columbus, president of the National Federation of the Blind of
>>>>>>> Ohio, says the wheelchair argument has happened more times than
>>>>>>> he can count. "I can be coming back from a powerfully positive
>>>>>>> experience, meeting with members of Congress on Capitol Hill or
>>>>>>> participating in negotiations with other leaders, and then the
>>>>>>> [emotional] balance shifts at the airport. The disrespect leaves
>>>>>>> me feeling insulted and angry. The only consistency in flying, if
>>>>>>> you happen to be blind,
>>> is inconsistency.
>>>>>>> Sometimes, the curb to curb process is rich with encounters of
>>>>>>> mutual respect, jumpstarting your business trip or vacation with
>>>>>>> a general love of humankind. Another time, the misconceptions
>>>>>>> held by airport workers result in degradation. You are grabbed,
>>>>>>> pulled, talked about in the third person, and given inappropriate
>>>>>>> "assistance". One TSA worker might allow you to move through the
>>>>>>> line without any particular notice, while another wants to hold
>>>>>>> your hands and talk to you in the sing-song tones reserved for
>>>>>>> preschoolers. One flight attendant might order you into the
>>>>>>> bulkhead row while another just as quickly orders you out of it.
>>>>>>> One day you might ask for someone to walk to the gate with you
>>>>>>> and the employee who arrives is so engaging that you have
>>>>>>> exchanged life stories by the time you arrive. And another day,
>>>>>>> the request results in a stripping of dignity.
>>>>>>> Disability awareness varies widely from one airline/airport to
>>> another.
>>>>>>> Not
>>>>>>> surprisingly, that difference seems to be in direct correlation
>>>>>>> to the source of training for employees. If you want to know how
>>>>>>> best to treat people with disabilities, ask them. And then listen
>>>>>>> to what they say.
>>>>>>> Deborah Kendrick is a Cincinnati writer and advocate for people
>>>>>>> with disabilities. .
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>> e
>>>>>>> nningweb.com
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
>>>>>> Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
>>>>>> (513) 607-6053
>>>>>>
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>>>>>> e
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>>>>>
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>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
>>>> Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
>>>> (513) 607-6053
>>>>
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>>>
>>> --
>>> Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
>>> Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
>>> (513) 607-6053
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
>> Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
>> (513) 607-6053
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-- 
Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
(513) 607-6053



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