Many are the times I've wished I didn't teach in the same district that is educating my disabled teenager. I've taken abuse from principals, snotty attitudes from teachers, insults from administrators, and in general, tons of crap that I know they wouldn't heap on other parents. We've resisted filing complaints against the district because I have feared professional repercussions.
We've learned to cope. We don't contact teachers through my school email unless there's an emergency. Husband does most of the talking at our IEP meetings (we plan the script together ahead of time) so that teachers don't take offense at hearing negative statements from a fellow teacher.
Last week I was actually glad to be on district email - sort of glad, that is. I read an email from our HelpDesk telling us that the district had permanently upgraded to Office 2007. This upgrade would allow us to blah, blah, blah, and yada, yada, yada, and in general be more efficient. There's only one (BIG) problem: Office 2007 is not compatible with Jaws for Windows, the screen reader Amigo uses.
I sent off an email immediately (through school, as this was urgent) telling HelpDesk, the vision teacher, and the head honcho for special education saying, "...Our past experiences have shown that JAWS is not compatible with Office 2007. Please address this as soon as you can. (Amigo) is a blind student at (Big Round) High School. It is essential that the software is working when school starts so he can successfully do his coursework."
In case that wasn't enough, I red flagged it as high importance, and Husband followed up in engineer/ techie language. "There likely is a new version of JAWS that can be purchased. However, JAWS is expensive and the parents are not able to afford changing the home. Home and school equipment needs some sort of compatibility so the homework he creates at home can be interpreted by the computer at school and vice versa -- what is prepared at school and has to be continued at home can be interpreted by our home computer. Please also be aware that Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) is not compatible with JAWS. Please inform Mom and Dad as soon as possible what and how this will be handled."
Now what? If I hadn't been on district email, this problem wouldn't have been recognized until Amigo first tried to log in and work on a school computer. School starts September 1; do you think they'll be ready? I hear your laughter. Shall we place bets on the odds?