[bksvol-discuss] Re: OT: Mainstreaming

  • From: "Kasondra Payne" <Kassyp36@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 13:02:57 -0700


I have heard all kinds of stories in this area.  Heaven only knows that my
story is one of the weirder ones I have heard because of the range of my
experiences.  Just recently, I sat in my son Andrew's IEP.  He just turned
three years old, and he was preparing to start at the district preschool.  I
told the assembled group that services for young blind kids are much
different now than they were when I was Andrew's age.  The services are more
organized now, and they usually have a defined structure and chain of
command.  That doesn't mean that the service is perfect.  That is why it is
crucial for parents to be involved in the education of their children.  I
get regular reports from Andrew's vision specialist and from the classroom
teachers for both my sons.  The either call me, send notes home, or they
send me emails.  

        When I went to Andrew's IEP, we had a couple grad students from the
university who came to observe.  One of them was a friend of mine from my
Interdisciplinary Training class at the university.  This program brings
students in fields like education, prepharmacy, and psychology, together
with disabled people and/or family members and parents of disabled people.
The students learn about services and different disabilities and how to
interact with people they might work with in their chosen professions.  It
also benefits the other people in the class.  For example, I had some very
bad experiences with social workers, and I developed great prejudices
towards the entire profession.  However, I have the opportunity to help
educate a future social worker in my class.  She will know that blind people
are capable of being good parents, and she won't make snap judgments simply
based on disability.  Someone in the department that works with this class
invited me to participate this year.  It runs both semesters, and so far it
has been great!

        Anyway, one of my fellow students sat in on my IEP for Andrew.  She
enjoyed it, and we talked about it in class the following Friday.  It gave
her the perspective of what happens when parents are involved in the
education system.  I am not saying I have not been perfect, but I try my
hardest to guide my children's education.  Sorry about the rambling nature
of this post.  

By the way, I am trying to get my instructors in my class to let me do a
presentation on library services next semester.  This would of course the
presentation would contain a lot of information on Bookshare in addition to
NLS and some of the other resources.  If I do this, it will be probably
after after I have the baby.  What do you think?

Kasondra Payne

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