Saturday, February 6, 2010

School/CART Stuff- Part 2

Two days before the promised evaluation report was due, I noticed two women who were at the previous meetings about CART come into my class. I should probably note that we specifically told the evaluators that they should contact me or the teachers with the days they were thinking of coming, so as not to come on a test or video day, The teacher had told them they could sit in the back of the room. Right after the bell rang, my teacher said, "Oh, by the way, they're going to be taking a test for the entire class period. I hope that's okay."

One of the evaluator ladies got an angry look on her face, said, "No." and walked out. The other one followed.

Okay, then...

The next day, the two ladies reappeared in a different class. This class is one of my hardest, largest, most discussion-based classes. I expected them to come over and talk to me, or at least look at my notes sometime during the class. Why do that when you can simply sit in a chair for an hour?

The day they came, this is how the class went:
-We took a quiz over the previous night's reading
- There was a small amount of lecturing followed by a large amount of class discussion, which I struggled to follow and didn't participate in.
-We had to work on something individually
-We then had to discuss it with our table partner. It was really noisy, and the girl that sits next to me seemed to be much more interested in flirting with the guy in front of us, so I didn't get much out of that discussion..

The class ended, and the women left .As promised, the evaluation for CART was delivered to me the following day. I knew, from their one observsation, that the whole thing was going to be a joke. Here are some quotes from the evaluation.

"We did not see (LAM) enter the class discussion. She watched and did not appear to be confused."
"Socially, she appeared comfortable with her table partner. They did not appear to have difficulty communicating with each other"
"The cafeteria was very loud and she appeared to have no difficulty communicating. She was smiling and animated while conversing with her friends." No, I was not aware that they were watching me from across the cafeteria at lunch. The idea of it makes me strangely uncomfortable, in addition to the fact it's completely unrelated to the trouble I have in the classroom.

And, here comes the best part, which they said after stating their denial of CART,
"It is even possible that CART would be a hindrance to her during classroom discussions because of the lag time between the speaker talking and the captioner producing the printed word. She would be listening to one set of information while reading what was said previously. Taking into account the (ha!) quiet environment and her ability to use her cochlear implants to listen and speak, it was though that CART might be a disadvantage to her classroom access and performance."
Isn't it just absolutely amazing how much you can gather from watching me for an hour? Because, as we all know, it's not like people with hearing loss bluff or pretend to understand  or anything. We just do our best to appear utterly confused and dumbfounded whenever we misunderstand or can't hear something.
(Please note the sarcasm...)

It just kills me how every single observation they made is about how I "appeared" to comprehend or I "appeared" to understand. They're judging my acting, not hearing, skills.

This occurred before the winter break. My next post will be about the meeting we had following this evaluation...


  1. AAARGH! This makes me soooo angry! Why can't they just listen to you?? You are the one dealing with this, not them. How can they know so much about you from merely observing you? Did they ever talk to you or ask you any questions? Who are these evaluators?
    Geez, why are they making it so difficult for you get this CART?!


  2. I want to slap these women. They are just trying to avoid giving you CART for some odd reason. Budget cuts perhaps? Keep on fighting, don't surrender to these women who don't even have 1/2 a brain.
    Has there been a meeting that you can attend yourself? You should be telling these people exactly whats going on, and how the evalutaion and report is completely twisted up. Keep strong!

  3. Uuugh. I'm sorry you have to go through this! It's frustrating even just to read about it!

  4. WTF?!?! *$@&@!!! OOOOOOh my freaking goodness! This brings back my memories of the old days when I had some teachers who just made up lame excuses to why they thought I "wasn't listening in the classroom." They would say, "Oh...she's just not paying attention....blah blah blah..."

    I just had to ask this question - the people who evaluated you, are they teachers of the deaf?

  5. Thank you all, I really appreciate the support. I definitely think budget is a huge part of it, another is simply the way the entire special education system works, as you will find out more in my next post.

    (e- They never said a word to me while they were there. The only way I knew I was being observed was because I recognized one of the women from the previous meetings (she was the one that was supposed to answer our questions about the CART evaluation process, yet seemed to have no clue how it worked..).

    Kristi- I very much share your reaction/emotions ;) I've attended nearly all the meetings this year. Through each one it always seems like the same thing goes on; I tearfully state my frustrations, the newest person in the meeting proposes all of these wonderful ideas to help me, and they somehow never work/get carried out.

    Rachel- would you care to share what you did in these cases? The main lady who did it is the Deaf Ed coordinator for the entire school district. The other one is a teacher of the deaf (I just looked it up- it says she's the Deaf Ed "Team Leader"). She's the one who was at the previous meeting, knew nothing, and actually has hearing loss herself (deaf in one ear). She stated at the meeting prior to the evaluation that "CART isn't for everyone" and that she, personally "finds CART to be very confusing" since she'd have to "hear one thing and then read it a few seconds later."

    Sound familiar? I almost feel as though they typed the entire thing before even looking at me in the classroom, since it's not like they could've gained any knowledge from staring at me across the room.

  6. You should post the rest of this story. The insane part is that they don't think you "need" CART or anything because your grades are so good. They don't get that you can be SMART and still STRUGGLE.

    I was in the same boat, but I sadly don't have any advice since we never got anywhere with getting me CART until I was taking graduate classes...

  7. It almost sounds like they had their minds made up before they entered the class. UGH! Have you thought about contacting your state office of civil rights yet? They are BREAKING THE LAW!
    Sorry for yelling, but please don't let them get away with this.

  8. invite the duo back again. Then laugh at strange times, read your text book, write "notes" that sort of relate to the discussion and then show the duo your notes and ask if the notes match the discussion.

  9. I know I've heard you tell the stories about the irritating CART ppl along the way but reading it I again have to pose the oh so obvious question to these people:
    Do you hear what she hears? Oh really? Well, how do YOU know that? Hmm? I didn't think so...


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