Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To ADA or not to ADA?

"Don't throw ADA at me; it makes me angry."

Let's set aside for the moment the fact that the principal who growled this at me was actually quoting the wrong law; he should have said "IDEA" or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This quote is a strong memory from Amigo's primary years. We'd reminded the principal that he needed to use appropriate methods for dealing with a blind child, and he put on an attitude. That attitude was part of his problem; he didn't want to recognize the need for reasonable accommodation, much less take responsibility for accommodating for a student's disability.

Now the position is different. I'm seeking reasonable accommodation for my hearing loss. I've handled all necessary adaptation for fifteen years - buying and maintaining hearing aids (not covered by insurance), working with the IT dept. to get a usable phone and a slightly longer cord so the computer didn't interfere with the telecoil settings on my hearing aids.

Now I'm seeking a preferential placement: one that will allow me to use my teaching skills, but not constantly adapt to noise levels around me. It's taking forever, and I don't feel supported. Thanks to our clueless governor, when our contract expires in July, I may no longer have a professional association for support, either.

ADA, however, is a federal law, not state. It should still work in my favor. I'm not talking about a lawsuit or taking anyone to court; I'm just looking for a way to continue teaching despite my disability.

Documenting this disability feels impossible. I jumped through hoops to get an appointment with the Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor (ENT), who told me he couldn't write what I needed because he had no knowledge of teaching. He then referred me to a doctor in Occupational Medicine. My regular clinic wouldn't take me unless I get a referral from my employer or it's a workers' compensation case. The other large medical group in town agreed to make an appointment. Now I just have to worry about whether or not this doctor can write the letter I need.

This garbage is not helping my depression recovery. Not a bit.

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Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

The amount of effort it takes to get to WORK anymore is so frustrating...obstacles everywhere you look. What does our country have against creating opportunities for people?

5/11/2011 10:26 AM  
Blogger Earth Muffin said...

So sorry you're having to go through this. It's a shame the hoops you have to jump through, all because you WANT to work!

5/11/2011 2:25 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

Doesn't it kill you that you're working so hard to WORK?

5/12/2011 12:55 PM  

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