[bct] Social work

  • From: Slythy_Tove <mcg907@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 16:41:38 -0800 (PST)

Hi Rick,

Just becasue the old ones are retiring doesn't mean they knew anything.  The 
worst one I have run into was a hack here in Mass who is my age and a total 

I have met some really stellar young social workers and VR counselors, but one 
problem they face is a profound lack of funding and too much to do.  It was 
becoming a severe problem when I left social work. There are national standards 
for caseloads and many states are giving people three or four times that much 
to do and giving them a third the resources to do it.  

Ira told me that V.R. was going to go to heck in a handbasket within 10 years 
(that was about 12 years and I suspect he is right.  He retired about 5 years 
ago because he said that he was no longer able to do the job he  had been 
trained to do and provide good services for people.

Unfortunately the only way to learn software is to use it.  Talk with Dan and 
some of the other folks on here who are facile with screen readers and they can 
help you with pointers.  

I was a trainer with Westlaw and people thought if I could sit down with them 
for a long time they'd learn it.  I had to explain that once I gave them the 
basics a few times the only way to learn it was by doing it.   They thought the 
company gave me zillions of hours of lessons - they didn't.  I had to basically 
self-teach using the same instructions everyone else got.  I spent hours and 
hours and hours at it. 

The best way to learn to use your product is to open up every single menu you 
can find and explore each option.  Learning software always takes user time - 
lots of user time.   Frustrating, but true.  You should have seen me trying to 
learn HTML 3.2  - the air was blue sometimes.  And I don't even want to think 
about Perl and Cold Fusion and some of the other things or programs I have 

Mobility training - I suspect that 20 hours is a good start, but again there 
needs to be a lot of practice between sessions and after that with refresher 
courses.  Nothing comes easy and I'm not sure anyone thinks you are going take 
off and do everything easily.  

However, the state may only allocate 20 hours of funding for the agency.  Is 
there any other agency in the state you can go to which is like Mass Commission 
for the Blind?  VR is for employment related stuff, in large part, not  life 
accomodations, unfortunately.  It used to be so much more, but VR funding has 
been cut to the bone. They used to pay for college for folks, but now they have 
to help you apply for loans and grants.  


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