I’ve been up on the higher end of the mood spectrum for the last day and a half or so. I am trying to take advantage of this extra energy while it lasts. I have mentioned in a few posts at the beginning of the semester issues I had with my math professor and stigma and discrimination. I received a few comments that pretty much told me what he was doing was wrong (I knew that, but the validation was helpful) and that I should go to the school or local government. I wasn’t in a place then where I could do that and was also worried about retaliation from my teacher. Even though I do a lot of advocacy type awareness on this blog, I am more of a behind the scenes girl in real life. I don’t like confrontation or tension and often settle or allow myself to be mistreated because it just isn’t worth it to me.
Well I noticed that the college disABILITY fair was today and that I had this extra energy and my math professor may be having someone take over the class sue to HIS medical issues (how’s that for karma) and took it as a sign that this was time to act. Last night I researched the American’s with Disabilities Act especially in regards to higher education/post secondary education. I didn’t want to look like an idiot when approaching the school. I also looked up the wording on our college website’s program for disabled students (DSPS) and thought about printing the e-mail from math teacher, which I have saved but decided not to. Both DSPS and the local psychiatric hospital I go to had booths at the fair, coincidentally right next to each other. I went over to the DSPS booth and had an interesting and lengthy conversation with the man running the booth.
I talked about how I had applied for services in the past and my concerns about the college having the policy that it is up to individual instructors. He said in his opinion that wasn’t right, he was a real nice guy. I asked about going above just what DSPS tells me about putting on my paper a “recommendation” to allow me to make up exams or in class projects if hospitalized. He explained to me the formal and informal way to do it and the benefits of each way.
I asked about showing the paperwork at the beginning of the semester which is what you are generally suppose to do, to get a note-taker or test taking accommodations because they are needed to known ASAP. He suggested not showing the paperwork unless needed, since I don’t get hospitalized each semester and sometimes it’s not even needed. He understood that just showing the paperwork can give professors a stereotype and it isn’t necessary. Did I mention I really liked this guy? He seemed to get everything.
We talked about the new policy going into effect in the fall of 2014 and if you have over 90 college units in the district that you no longer had priority registration and had to wait for open enrollment and this even applied to DSPS and other students in programs that generally have priority registration. I talked about how I thought it was wrong because in my case I couldn’t attend anything other than a community college with my disability and resources and how it was healthy for me. Of course being only to really attend community college has caused me to rack up units where I won’t be eligible for priority enrollment anymore. He said that it is unfair about taking priority enrollment away from DSPS and that this is a “community” college and should be for all community members. He says that the school is trying to work around it by putting in your DSPS accommodations for priority enrollment, so I will need to remember that for when Fall semester comes.
I asked about going to other colleges in the district and if I needed to file for services at each school or if it was district wide. I’m hoping to take French next semester and it’s not offered at this college I usually attend. He suggested to take my DSPS paperwork from this school to the other and they will probably just duplicate it for their school and put it in their system. I hope so, getting paperwork from my insurance provider is a pain.
So very successful and promising!
While in my math class the girl sitting next to me was talking to another classmate about how getting a service dog “was soooo easy.” She said she had depression, I heard her say something about having a hard time getting out of bed some days and some other stuff along with the other student joking about the dog saying “take your medication.” This irked me. I think service dogs and/or support dogs are a great thing, and can really help some people. I don’t know this girls personal story and if she is someone who truly needs a trained service/support dog or would do just as well with a pet, but it seemed like option 2. Also the way she was talking to the other classmate it gave off the impression… “just get diagnosed with depression and they give you a free dog and it’s so cool and easy.” BTW: there was a service dog booth at the disABILITY fair which may have sparked this conversation, and she does not bring her dog to class.
It has been suggested I apply for a service/support dog because the benefit of taking care of Dexter and Tobias. But at the time I had Dexter and even though he wasn’t my full time dog he was a lot of work and my parents don’t want me to have my own dog because they have a cat. Moving out and that Dexter has passed on I may get one in the future. Or maybe just a pet not sure what I would need and I don’t want to take advantage of a service that may be more helpful or a necessity for someone else. I’m not one of those people that tries to get ever thing I can out of my illness, I actually decline most of the accommodations DSPS offers because I don’t feel I need a note-taker or extra test time, sure it’s be cool but I don’t need it and don’t feel right about having it.