Approximately 1 month ago WUSA Channel 9 covered a story about Denise Hamilton, a DC Teacher who is blind and was fired this past June. The letter terminating her was not sent in braille as required. Ms. Hamilton continues to fight for her job as a teacher of visually impaired students at Sharpe Health School. She has filed a complaint with the EEOC- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is represented by the Washington Teachers' Union.
Blind and visually impaired teachers in our DC public school system are treated as badly as DC students with disabilities. Far too often- neither group are afforded the accommodations they are required under the 504 Rehabilitation Act and the American Disabilities Act. In Denise's case her classification was mistakenly changed by what some describe as the inept DC central office from being a braille teacher (certified) to a special education teacher. In response to this challenge, Denise returned to school to get a second certification in special education. She even hired her own 'reader' to read the praxis test to her and failed the test by 1 point. Check out the link below as Denise discusses the difficulties in completing a test particularly when everything is read to you. The million dollar question is : Will DCPS hire her back and make her whole again ? After all- Denise is a certified braille instructor and due to no fault of her own was terminated due to DC's human error. In my mind- the real travesty in this situation is the harm that has been done to our blind and visually impaired students in DCPS who regard Denise Hamilton as their role model. I salute you Denise and best of luck to you in your challenge on behalf of DC students ! Picture courtesy of WUSA9.com Posted by Candi.