The ADA/AA works!

I’ve not really been around here too often because 1) my dad had surgery on Monday, and 2) my brother was being discriminated against because of his hearing loss. So, I’ve been helping quite a bit more than normal around here and I was helping my brother with his issue.

On Monday my dad went in at 4 AM for his surgery. It was a, more or less, routine thing. Given that my father’s family has some health issues regarding blood pressure and circulation, namely with the pressure being low and there being non-existent circulation, he had to take certain precautions. He was anesthetized at 5:30 or so, started the surgery at 6, and was finished at about 10:15. The entire purpose was to take out a couple of the discs that had deteriorated and allowed more pressure to be applied to nerves thus having his left side extremities alternate between being numb and really painful. The major problem is where those discs were; they had to go in ventrally through his throat, so he has this 3 inch wide incision. As measurse of reducing complications the “sponge” has to be replaced every day, he gets to walk around with a neck brace for the next 2 weeks while recovering, and he gets to take pills for certain..uhm..bodily functions since opioids  can interfere with that. Though a couple good things came of it; he’s not smoking, and he’s able to feel his left side again.

My brother, Ben, is attending UWM. Like me, he has hearing loss, so you know, the whole genetics and my getting the short stick there. Anyways, on Monday he asked his English instructor to pass around an attendance sheet because roll call wasn’t going to work with his hearing loss. Wednesday came around and she did roll call again, so he went and asked her again. There was apparently a tirade after class about how he wasn’t going to change her class because it was her class; the only way that she was going to change it was with a VISA from SAC (by the way, this is made illegal under the Americans with Disability Act/Amended Act of 2008 as one of the changes is that the disabled do not have to demonstrate that they are disabled). He asked if there was anyone above her who he could talk to and she just went off saying that it was her class, she had the final say in everything, and there was no one above her.

Ben came home, complained, and asked if I had any ideas who he could get in touch with. He ended up writing an e-mail to the Chairman of the English Department (that I may or may not have tweaked). An hour and a half passed and he wrote back saying that he’d begin an investigation and he’d let Ben know the outcome by the end of the week. At about 9 PM he wrote again, but this time it was a much more strict and structured e-mail, admitting to no guilt and saying that indeed the ADAAA did prohibit having to prove being disabled; the thing looked like it had been run by a lawyer. The next day my brother went to visit the chair, and he explained his side of the story and presented his syllabus from her class where it more or less said he needed to go to SAC (and he had a look of shock), and he figured out that she lied to him. When they were done there were a couple things that stuck out:
1) There’s going to be a sign-in sheet for attendance
2) There’s going to be a professor in her class room watching her and reporting back
3) Everyone above her in the English Department knows what’s happening, there are 7 or so people involved in the department
4) The chairman is going to periodically check in with Ben to make sure that everything is working out okay
5) The chairman said that “she’s eager about keeping her job”, she already had a talking to on Thursday and she’s going to have an even sterner one on Friday
6) The instructor is going to be attending a course at the SAC, then after is going to be volunteering there

  1. #1 by Christa on January 28, 2011 - 1:47 PM

    Good for Ben! Like is so f-ing hard to pass around an attendance sheet.

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