Reasonable Accommodations/need advice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RussianBlueMommy, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2016

    So here's the scoop.

    My main campus I work on is (literally) a mile end to end and 2 stories. Anyway, the long story short is- I was in a car accident 3 years ago, I broke both my legs (open fracture) and now have lots of hardware and roughly 80% arthritis in those ankles. Bottom line, stairs are very very difficult.

    They have an elevator, but it is locked except for teachers & staff, and kids with a medical condition such as being in a wheelchair. They put a sticker on the back of their badge with a barcode, so it will scan for the elevator.

    So the other day, I went to the office to see about getting my badge converted to an elevator badge, and was told 'we don't give subs elevator badges'. I didn't press the issue, but I am physically disabled, I know my doctor would back me up (I even have handicap car tags). My question is, would that be considered a reasonable accommodation?

    I am able to do my job just fine, and can even walk pretty good. But the stairs do me in. In my mind, it would be a "reasonable" accommodation to adjust my badge to work for the elevator, because the current protocol is to find a security officer (we have 2 on the whole campus), but they are never near the elevator, and as I said- a mile wide campus. So to track one down, is often a task that gets me behind or even late on an occasion or two.

    I have not told them about the physical handicap, just not sure how best to approach?

    I will mention that the last time something similar came up, the principal called me the next week and told me I was no longer able to sub on that campus (my kids had ran ahead and another teacher had them...) because it involved stairs and lots of them. Sigh.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
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  3. TruKnyte

    TruKnyte New Member

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    Oct 12, 2016

    That seems strange. Are there any disability laws or protocols that you can use for your case? To me it's unreasonable for the school to not grant you the pass to use the elevator.
     
  4. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2016

    There is the ADA, (Americans with Disabilities Act), but it's vague and subjective. "

    "reasonable accommodation is assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do his or her job despite having a disability. Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship."

    They would maybe say, i have access to the elevator, I just have to get a security officer to scan me up/down.
     
  5. TruKnyte

    TruKnyte New Member

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    Hmm...I also have chronic pain and frequent forums with other people who have challenges in the workplace. From what I understand (as an outsider in Canada), the employer must grant you accommodations if you provide a doctor's letter. The letter doesn't have to specify what your specific disability is, only that your doctor agrees that the accommodation is reasonable given your condition. Usually the employer will grant the accommodation, as it's easier than the risk of a lawsuit.
     
  6. Leatherneck for Life

    Leatherneck for Life Rookie

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    I say you should get your doctor to write a nite saying you require an accommodation. The administration will have to honor it.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 13, 2016

    I'd say it is a reasonable accommodation - they already give staff and students access to it, you just need to make them aware of your needs. It would not be an undue burden to put the barcode on the back of your badge.
     
  8. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    It's not unreasonable since she has not told them about the disability. That's her responsibility.
     
  9. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Oct 13, 2016

    Do you have a handicap parking placard? Because you should be easily entitled to one with the state. I am sure if you have one of those and showed the office they would be more than willing to accommodate. Honestly though I think if you just tell them you have trouble walking because of your condition they would give you the pass with no further questions.
     
  10. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Yeah, I'm going to talk to the officer today.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 13, 2016

    It seems it is a reasonable accommodation for a non-sub teacher, but there is a difference between the job of a sub and the job of the regular teacher. The regular teacher can has a more consistent schedule which means when the kids need to go upstairs the school can get someone consistently to walk the students upstairs while the teacher rides the elevator. With a sub, the need is random which puts the school in a slightly different situation. So, in the mind of the school the accommodation that a regular teacher needs compared to a sub in this situation is different because of the randomness of when and where the extra staff will be needed to accommodate the disability.

    While I feel that this should be a reasonable accommodation that should not stop you from doing the job, I do believe that you should have had your disability and need for accommodation documented in advance with HR in advance. Accommodations usually go through HR as the starting point.
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Bros, it is more than a barcode. Who is going to watch the students when they need to go somewhere and she needs to take the elevator and they need to walk the stairs? Sometimes an accommodation seems simple but when you think through the whole thing it is more complicated than just a barcode.
     
  13. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    One thing with having prearranged through HR, I didn't know about the elevator at the time
     
  14. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oh, I might add this is high school. Very little babysitting needed
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 13, 2016

    Your comment about students running ahead made me believe otherwise.

    In terms of HS, you should have documented your disability with HR regardless since you don't know what type of environment you would be required to work in from school to school. That way it is covered in advance. Go to HR. Let them know what is going on and get a plan in place.

    You can make excuses as to why you found yourself in this situation, but it is your responsibility to let employers know of your disability before it requires an accommodation. It could be the school has had their fill of people claiming disability so they can use the elevator. Sure you have a placard, but I know many people who have a placard because they transport a relative who needs the accommodation.
     
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  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would get a doctor's note and make them aware. The doctor's note doesn't have to be specific about your disability. They are just probably very cautious about who they give the access to or else everyone would want it.
     
  17. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    The group that ran off was middle school, different district/campus. I have a legit reason for a tag, why are you assuming otherwise? I talked with HR who said to speak to each campus admin
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I didn't assume your tag was not legit. However, because people abuse tags, the school, without prior notification and documentation, have no reason to just assume that you should have the accommodation of the sticker just because you say so. I said the school probably gets their share of people abusing the system.

    Again, if you don't know the configuration of the school, as you have said, why wouldn't you make sure ahead of time that any accommodations you may need are met since other schools you have taught at also had stairs which caused problems for you?
     
  19. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oct 14, 2016

    Problem solved. They have elevator sub badges, the officer didn't know about it. HR hooked me up, I just have to check it out each day in office. :)
     
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  20. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I strongly suggest you go through HR any time you need accommodations for your disability since it is the right avenue for work-related accommodations. It does two things, it helps to ensure you get the accommodations needed (if reasonable) and it helps the district avoid any problems if people complain about an accommodation you have. They are covered because they have proof of your disability.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good. Next time, be honest about your disability upfront to avoid any delay in getting what you need.
     
  22. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Yeah. Just know how discrimination works, they may find a way to get rid of you.
     
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  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    As a sub, they don't have any obligation to you. Be the best sub so they can't possibly think of letting you go...and get what you need so that you can do your job well without compromising yor health.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  24. Mr.Mike

    Mr.Mike Rookie

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    At my district, if a sub has been at a school for more than 12 years with 23 or more days per year, than she is treated the same like a teacher. That means that in her contract she cannot be let go for " unkown reasons".
     
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  25. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Here, it's 5 years. But I hope to God I have a full time steady job by then, lol. Plan to get teaching certificate in spring. Doing alternative certification bridge work now.
     
  26. Mr.Mike

    Mr.Mike Rookie

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    Hope you get it. It is hard to live of a sub salary without financial support.
     
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  27. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Thanks. Hubby works two jobs, and I also get social security, so that helps.
     

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