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Monday, September 26, 2011

Teachers Should be Made to do Better

This is a group of four emails dating back to 2009. I don’t like the dating system used here, but it’s what came with the emails so I will leave it in place.

I want to make it clear that the teacher we talked about was never given any retraining or reprimand. She clearly misunderstood the nature of her obligations. She had never dealt with a student with a disability before and responded as if she thought I was malingering.  

Given the theater folk are in the art of telling lies her belief was understandable. However, nothing gave this teacher the right to be rude to me regarding my legally defined learning disability.

Teachers should be made to do better.

Dear Doctor (at the Disabled Students Services),
You have now received my first request for accommodations. I assure you that this was not my idea. There is a one Doctor(Theater History Professor) of the theatre arts department that has requested that I verify that I have a disability despite the fact that I have not asked her for accommodations. You may recall from our last meeting that I have had issues with theatre teachers in the past and their attitudes regarding my problem.  
All I require is that you inform her that I am indeed registered with DSS, and I will be out of your hair. I'm told that you will be very busy for the next few weeks, so I don't want to take up to much of your time, but I will meet with you if that is what will accomplish my needs. 
Thank you and best wishes   
Richard Leland Neal
We only communicate with professors when one of our students requires some kind of reasonable accommodations for a course.  The only way a professor would know a student has a disability, other than a visible disability, is when the student discloses that information orally or by presenting documentation from our office. If you didn’t disclose that information, and from your comments I think you would choose not to disclose, then I would be concerned as to how the professor came to know. In any event, it is inappropriate for a professor to ask for documentation when no accommodations are requested. If she persists with this request I want you to have her contact me directly.
Doctor (at the Disable Students Services)
I did mention it, but I did not ask for accommodation however. Theater teachers have poor responses to students like myself, and I almost always mention it. You may recall that this is why I updated my registry. Even after I repeatedly stated that I had never asked for accommodation, and only have them at the discretion of the instructor's she insisted. I don't know if I will need anything for this class and it is likely that I will not, but if she gives me problems such as teachers have given me in the past I'd like to be able to say that I made things clear beforehand.    
Please call me or schedule an appointment with me so we can discuss this.
Doctor (at the Disable Students Services)