Created by and for people with physical disabilities.

Integration of disabled in school and work: Where to draw the line.

Jul 14, 1999

This is an archival transcript of one of our past meetings. We don't have scheduled topical meetings anymore, but we're not opposed to the idea of bringing them back if someone is willing to commit to hosting them on a "long term" basis.

Participants already present:
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Lily: so, what in heavens do i do now?
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Mooooooo: got questions?
KimNchair: whazza matta?
Lily: moooooo, there are none, judi didnt want any
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Mooooooo: well
Mooooooo: i have a little experience in this
Lily: good
Mooooooo: as a child, i was forceably sent to a school for disabled kids
Mooooooo: anyone who was different was sent there
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Lily: ok, lets start with schools then
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Mooooooo: then, in 8th grade i went to public school
Lily: has log started yet?
Mooooooo: yes
Lily: k
Mooooooo: the difference was quite traumatic
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Lily: how did they compare?
KimNchair: k my brother who was profoundly mr was mainstreamed be4 anyone knew what it did
Mooooooo: in the first school, we were coddles and expected to act like nice little morons
Mooooooo: in public school, we has to pass on our own merit
Lily: k:)
Angel_27: I was one of the first disabled people to go to a public school in my town
Lily: yes, true mooooo
WonderW: me too
Lily: what was your exp. like, angel?
KimNchair: we sposed to! ? toinite?
Angel_27: I did ok, had some teachers that didnt want to make acceptuions I needed
Lily: no, it oen discussion , kim
KimNchair: k
Lily: open
Lily: didn't want, or didnt have the resources, angel?
Mooooooo: the only exception i got was P.E.
Angel_27: I had one teacher oin 10th grade tell me I didnt belong in public school
Angel_27: only because I had to leave 10 min early to go to lunch room
Angel_27: it was too much trouble for them
Lily: o, ic
Lily: ive seen autistic kid pull down hall displays of grade ones work
KimNchair: i just happened to have several classes with david when i was freshman, our mama was special, we didn't really know david was different just knew if he got mad hide! ij school he was seizing, the teacher came runnin to me what do i do, i said just leave him the h alone
Lily: how should a teacher handle this?
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Lily: so that it's a positive thing for the AB kid as well
KimNchair: shouldn't have acted like he was a leper maybe even shown some leadership when seizing you need cal and if possible som1 to talk you down
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WonderW: my experience at a school for disabled kids was generally great for me, teacher's knew I was bright, they encouraged my interest in writing, etc....I was mainstreamed in 4th grade and was still in special ed for my dyscalculia (math learning disability) except that no one explained that that's what it was till much later, so I thought that, despite my verbal ability, I was stupid
Lily: how did the mainstreaming go?
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Lily: yes, kim, but many teacher arent that bright
Lily: were you mainstreamed, anny?
KimNchair: i know lily but i was 13 yrs old:(
WonderW: it was generally ok, but not knowing I was learning disabled was devastating, and even harder because dyscalculia is often labeled math phobia
Lily: o, ic
anny1: yes was the only handicapped in small school lil
Mooooooo: same with me in California, anny
Lily: was it a good experience, anny?
KimNchair: laura you have that song on cd oh if they could see me now?
Lily: lol
Woz: daughter was ldg biggest prob was her self esteem and school shrink
WonderW: no, kim, but I agree
anny1: was ok in terms of learning, socially not to hot
Lily: bet?
Lily: beat?
Woz: beat open discussion no ! or ?
WonderW: I had a teacher tell me that I'd never be a writer (all I ever wanted to do was read and write, and she knew it) and that crushed me
Lily: judi is not well, so we are having an open discussion
WonderW: I was only 10
Kark: I started regular school at 1st grade
Lily: why, laura, what math got to do with it?
KimNchair: she was plain stupid
BEat: Out here they are just starting main streaming , But I feel we learnt more in a non main stream school
WonderW: what does math have to do with what?
Woz: dyslexia
Lily: are some dis. more easily integrated than others?
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Lily: with the ability to write, laura
BEat: We where able to cope with our work far better
Lily: o, netdsplit
WonderW: dyscalculia and dyslexia are totally different learning disabilities, max
KimNchair: i think justin would have gotten more from school if he could have been not mainstreamed, really easy for school teachers and even me to think nothing wrong with him just mean and bad
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Woz: lily math and spelling are keys to learning dis
WonderW: nothing, she was just pissed off because I couldn't master haiku
KimNchair: his daddy was gonna beat it out of him:(
Woz: thay tend to be the hardest
KimNchair: haiku??
WonderW: and hold pen well
Lily: so, does placement depend upon the individual, and parents shd be involved?
Lily: lol, nobody masters haiku
Woz: parents must be involved
BEat: the classes where smaller
Woz: ma did some home tutoring
BEat: I think it should involed both
WonderW: haiku : form of poetry with 5 syllables in first line, 7 in second, and five in third
Lily: yes, i agree
KimNchair: most def parents should be and i our state the parent can insist they be involved and with idea much more is offered for a child w dis
Lily: i see it from the teachers perspective too
WonderW: parents have to be involved
KimNchair: abnd couldn't master that in 2nd grade what shame:)
Woz: ditto
WonderW: lol, kim
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Lily: most arent trained in spec. ed., and dont have resources to handle
Lily: lol, kim
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Woz: wish the grade system could be abolished all should be progressive
Lily: and if class has 29 kids, someone is going to suffer
BEat: yes Well dos'nt put more prusser on the Teachers?]
anny1: our agency has advocates that go with parents and students to yearly meetings, it is helpful in explaining termanology as well as lets school staff know that they must be accountable for an appropriate education
WonderW: there really needs to be more understanding of learning disabilities
KimNchair: if they don't they are in can't think of weord ( not going by:) idea act so force them
Lily: i agree, ww
WonderW: without it, students are blamed
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Lily: yup, called behavioural or dumb
KimNchair: wschools hate more than anything a parent with idea training:(
WonderW: problems mislabeled
Lily: true
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Lily: and found too late, often
Lily: are all schools in USA accessible?
WonderW: yeah, mine wasn't found till I was 17 and in college already for two years
KimNchair: when justin was in 9 th grade , he was troublemaker so sent off to trouble maker school- they thought they had won the war
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KimNchair: but justin was and is a leader after 3 days there they wanted to charge him with inciting a riot
Lily: in our board, only 1 in 10 is w/c accessible
WonderW: another thing is that they refused to take me to restroom
Lily: why?
Woz: funding is a major problem a teacher can handel no more than 10 ppl in a special ed
BEat: Yea but that only puts its back on the parent
Lily: up, woz, funding the big issue
Woz: if more then 10 someone will be left out
Lily: right
KimNchair: usa schools are required by law to be accessible but no many don't comply_) that's the word i was lookin for
WonderW: because I was too tall, and they wouldn't provide nurse, so my mom wld leave work to take me or I'd have to wait all day
anny1: not all are totally accessable but classes can be moved, back in the 70's the football players took turns caring me up stairs
BEat: Well how do they get on then
WonderW: this was in junir high
Lily: i c
Angel_27: some of my classes had to be brought down on main floor
Lily: yes, one school just kept moving a class to main floor, as SB student progressed
KimNchair: if i had known then what i know now i woulda owned those danged schools
KimNchair: so pretty much selective integration:(
Lily: what about workplace?
KimNchair: can't speak haven't worked with a dis
Angel_27: me either
Lily: where do we draw the line at accomodating dis>, and maintaining public safety?
WonderW: the department of rehab has proven to be less than helpful in my case
WonderW: tough question
BEat: ah yes How does it work there
anny1: i strongly believe that mainstreaming is good for some and not good for others such as those with SEVERE mental retardation
KimNchair: oh voc rehab is sending me to college:)
Woz: in my working years i did not see much in provisions for dis
WonderW: they won't do that for me because I have dyscalculia
BEat: Those that can its good!
Woz: about the only things wer weel chair ramps
anny1: all of my employers have been more than willing to accomodate my disability but i have worked for federal and state gov. mostly
WonderW: say I can't obtain degree, even though I said I am petitioning math req
Lily: does the USA have quotas which have to be filled?
Angel_27: I sort of liked going to public school, because I always wanted to blend in as much as possible.....not that we are still talking about school, sorry
Lily: it ok, angel
BEat: I went and got a job but hindsight , I would been better not too!
KimNchair: jalena was in wc for first grade , i had to take her in, set her on floor, go back get chair then load her into it again didn't even have a dang ramp
Lily: why, beat?
anny1: they have a special placement program for federal lil
WonderW: why, beat?
Lily: brb
Lily: cat problem
Woz: at i point in my career i was a lead man in a pilot fab dept my 2 best workers wer para
Woz: paraplegics
Lily: back
WonderW: cool
Woz: thay just worked harder to prove to the world their worth
KimNchair: nite
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Lily: i think it depends on the type of work, and the dis of the person doingit
BEat: The work I ending up doing was very pyschial work, which made my dis worse in the long term
Woz: thay also made steady progression
Lily: ah, i see beat
Lily: whats a pilot fab dept, woz?
BEat: Alot just stay in workshops and there dis never changed
Woz: top assembl ppl
Woz: do work with engrg staff
Lily: did they get paid for this, beat?
Woz: work out bugs prior to production phase
WonderW: it's a bind: we can't work without education, many of us do not have money to pay for school, or we are unaware that funding exists or we don't qualify, if we cannot get education, jobs will be short-term and payments lowered
Lily: well,, woz, i dont see why paras couldnt do that
Lily: like a catch 22, ww?
WonderW: if we have esucation, then there is the questions of how much we can do in terms of energy/stamina
Lily: anny, you work, any observations?
WonderW: yeah
BEat: Yes they got a bit with there Penison, Some did very well thank you
Lily: true, i cud work, but fade after 4 hrs.
Lily: i dont have the stamina needed to teach all day
anny1: i agree that disabled must work harder to prove they are competent, ppl try to attack your work more often that they would if not disabled
WonderW: don't mean to depress you guys :) carry on
Lily: it ok, WW, it reality
BEat: I worked from 4 am till 11 am each day but the pay wasnt anything great
Lily: how long have you been working, anny?
Lily: thats a long shift beat
anny1: 14 yrs
Woz: physical dis is obvious its the non obvious that have the biggest fight i think
WonderW: I'm just frustrated because of how much money they took out when I worked as aninstructional aide
Lily: and is it better now, anny?
Lily: i agree, woz
WonderW: true, max, you have a point
Lily: my dis doesnt show that much, is largely perceptual
Woz: ldg dyslexic ppl just dont understand
BEat: Anny I agree with you 100% I always felt the same
anny1: has always been fine as to physical accomidation, i think that the subtle discrimination is still very much alive
Lily: its a good phrase
Lily: is anybody out there?????
anny1: not being selected for committees, not getting the promotion, tendancy of others to seek mistakes in your work are a few
Lily: did you find that also, beat?
WonderW: well, I had someone tell me I wouldn't be able to work without a catheter, his reasoning was that this would take burden off ppl who would otherwise be taking me to restroom
anny1: in every environment there are attackers and they see disabled as weak
BEat: People seem to look for mistake in your work
WonderW: and he was disabled himself, not too subtle, but I wondered what was going on behind it
Lily: so, we have to be better than the rest just to keep pace?
Mooooooo: yep
Lily: hmmmmm, i wonder, WW
anny1: it is true beat and i going to talk to someones supervisor about her tendancy to do that
BEat: I think thats A very real one Ww
Lily: do employers look for reasons not to hire those with dis?
WonderW: I don't want to have a catheter just to make it easier on everyone else
BEat: Lot of friends have gone thought the same thing!
WonderW: yes, I think so
Lily: no, WW, i agree
Angel_27: i agree WW
BEat: No why should you!
Lily: reader, do you go out to work?
Woz: i hate to say this but some co know some dis work harder so capitalize on that
WonderW: I think they overemphasize disabilities and use the excuse that they can't accomodate, if they didn't do that, they'd have to accomodate
Reader_13: no, I work in the Apt. complex where I live...
Angel_27: and here they get a tax break too for hiring disabled
anny1: i think so 2 laura
Lily: is this tax break a federal or state thing?
WonderW: that's not meant as a blanket statement, but I've seen it
Angel_27: I dont know I just have heard that they get a tax break
BEat: Yes here they get alot of money for hiring people with a dis
Lily: no, there's always exceptions, depends on employer
anny1: the deal with the tax break is they lay off the disabled worker after the tax benefit no longer exists here in tx
Lily: you are in aust. beat?
BEat: yes
Lily: ive heard of that in ca, anny
WonderW: oh man, anny
Woz: sad but true
Woz: i have seen that to
Woz: buig business tend to be ruthles
Lily: so, after a yr or so is up, they find a reason to let the dis person go?
anny1: happens all the time with mentally disabled maybe not so much with other disabilities
BEat: Its the same here its cuts out after while and people with a dis do get put off
anny1: yep that's the deal
Lily: are smaller businesses better, woz?
Angel_27: but I have to give credit to where my husband works, they work with him really well and his needs
WonderW: ooops
WonderW: sorry
Woz: i have to say some co like hewlett packard have contributed much however
anny1: that's good there are exceptions bev
Lily: lol, emphatic
WonderW: lol
Angel_27: He is paralyzed from chest down due to a birth injury
BEat: this is well after my time but
WonderW: oh, ok
Woz: but that a minority i think
Lily: go on, beat
Lily: yes, woz, i think so too
BEat: When I got my job there where very very few pple with dis. Working
Lily: what does he do there, angel?
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Angel_27: he is a people greeter part time and loves it
Woz: mental have hard time getting meaningfull employment
anny1: do yall think ADA has been of any real assistance on the job front?
WonderW: well....
WonderW: yes and no
Woz: thay tend to wind up in food service home care or entry leval sobs if any
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Lily: elaborate, WW?
WonderW: yes in the sense that public opinion has been raised, accomodation not a foreign concept
Lily: and the downside?
WonderW: no in the sense that so many ppl have claimed to be disabled that it hurts us
anny1: true woz but strides have been made as years ago they were all in workshops with no opportunity to even persue outside employment
Lily: true, i know that theres a lot of mis-use here
Woz: probably more in the us
Woz: dead beats
Lily: closing comments, anyone?
Mooooooo: yes
anny1: has been interesting meeting
Mooooooo: thank you :o)
Lily: do ppl take advantage of the system?
Woz: hehe
BEat: thanks
Lily: lol
Lily: your welcome
Mooooooo: yes, they do
* WonderW cheers for batgirl
Lily: thank you all for coming:)
Woz: hehe thank you
Lily: i agree, moooooo
Lily: np:)
Lily: isintesting topic, maybe we can persue it further
Mooooooo: i agree, we should soon
anny1: yes plenty of opinions on this one
Lily: ok:)
Lily: yees
anny1: bbl
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Lily: ill tell judi
Mooooooo: i have a request
Mooooooo: too all those who pray, please pray for Judi
Lily: sure?
Angel_27: i sure will moo
Lily: yes, i will
WonderW: me too
Mooooooo: thanks :o)
Lily: we will storm heaven, mooooooo:)
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Woz: good show all
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Mooooooo: i'll stop log now