This has been a particularly fertile month for some "Really?" moments in advocacy. Just a sampling:
- A student with hearing impairments is assigned an interpreter who, among other things, signs "pee" for "Palestine". Check those credentials!
- A substitute teacher tries to send an ASL interpreter out of the class because the sub says that the student with hearing impairments doesn't need an interpreter--she speaks perfectly well. The sub apparently thinks that the interpreter is there to translate what the student says--for the benefit of the teacher!! The student actually needs the interpreter to sign and explain teacher lectures.
- I file an OCR complaint because a district won't allow a student to participate in athletics. The county program for students with emotional impairments is not included in the MHSAA list of qualifying alternative schools for the district. The district responds by making all of the needed changes...and then the student is disqualified because of his GPA. (Do I feel like a chump? No--because now students from this school will be able to play for their home school teams.)
- A student with physical impairments transfers districts and requires a specialized chair in order to participate in school. His chair makes it to the new district one week before he does. The district refuses to provide portal to portal transportation for the student, but he is physically unable to make it to the nearest bus stop. Portal to portal transportation is finally in place.
Life is good...especially when you can laugh as you're making things better for students!