[blindkid] Braille book availability in school

Carlton Anne Cook Walker carltonwalker at gmail.com
Sat Sep 12 02:24:11 UTC 2009


I'd approach this by going back to basics.

Federal law (the IDEA) requires that children with special educational needs
(such as those who are blind) are legally entitled to receive a "free,
appropriate public education."  This is also referred to as "FAPE."

It is not hard to argue that the provision of reading materials (such as
those provided to sighted students) is a most basic example of FAPE.  To
refuse such access is clearly a denial of FAPE and, therefore, illegal.

If the TVI wishes to insist that a braille reader must be present at all
times when braille books (or labels, posters, etc.) are available, then it
would appear that she is advocating for a full-time educational specialist
who is trained in and competent with braille to be on the school grounds
full-time.  At least that's how I would frame her demands.

You may wish to consider taking her unreasonable position to its logical
conclusion -- either the school needs to provide a full-time staff member
(with substitute coverage) who is fluent in braille to be on-hand at all
times or the TVI needs to take it down a few notches and allow braille
outside of her presence.  Either way, I might use her unreasonable position
to try to advocate for a different (read competent and reasonable) TVI, if
at all possible.


Carlton Anne Cook Walker
213 North First Street
McConnellsburg, PA    17233
Voice: 717-485-4529
Cell: 717-658-9894
Twitter: braillemom

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