As someone who has been deaf for over two decades, I have become well aware that there are people who don’t seem to realize that there are deaf people in this world. I could only shake my head over news reports on the TV telling people how to evacuate in the event of a flood but the instructions WERE NOT closed-captioned on the TV (so I guess they wanted all the deaf people to drown?) or the time some idiot decided to push his shopping cart into my back because he “told me to move” when I could not hear him. I accept there are such things that will happen, just as I know that some people, especially those who are in a position to make certain choices related to my children’s ability to attend a school, don’t think for a minute that, gee, maybe there is a very good reason why I can’t get through to a parent on the phone. Why, maybe I should try e-mailing them instead!
I bring this up because of something that happened today. Something that got me VERY upset, very angry and just fuming.
Today I received an email from a teacher at Family School, a local school I chose as a second choice for my son, Jesse, to attend when he starts kindergarten in the fall. This particular teacher at this particular school informed me that she had left two messages (where?) and that, because she had not heard back from me, she automatically removed Jesse from a waiting list for that school. The waiting list thing is kind of important because it’s a backup plan in case Jesse ends up NOT getting into the school of choice we put on the form. She also informed me that if I wanted to put Jesse back onto their waiting list, I would have to fill out a School Choice Form all over again and resubmit. (Fat chance of THAT!)
That was the gist of her email. And, to be honest, I was a little shocked that this person did not even give me a chance to explain to her the situation. She just assumed I was not going to talk to her and removed him just like that. So sad, too bad.
Well, I was also a little angry about it. Because, you know what? This was the First Time I ever heard from this woman, even this school. I went through all of my archived emails just to see if I had missed anything from her, as well as deleted emails from this month and March. Nope, nothing. Not one email from her. The first time I EVER hear from this person, about THIS TOPIC, and it’s to tell me that because I have not answered her messages that I knew NOTHING about, she’s writing Jesse off. Thank you, have a nice life!
This was just REALLY uncool. Why did she not even try to contact me by email at all? She OBVIOUSLY has my email address! Plus, I specified on the School Choice Form that e-mail is THE preferred way to contact me. I didn’t write “DEAF-CONTACT THRU EMAIL” but now I’m thinking maybe I should have. Because obviously, people will see instructions to contact via email and think to themselves, “Email? We don’t DO email! We worship our mighty telephone and too bad for you if you can’t use one!”
After this, I don’t think I will even TRY to get Jesse back on their little waiting list. They obviously don’t want to bother with trying to contact his deaf mother in a way that works best for her. I only hope and PRAY the school that accepted him WILL be able to make room for him. Because if not, I don’t know what my chances would be in getting Jesse enrolled into a third elementary school that he could go to. I’d rather not rely on chance.
At least I know what school he WON’T be going to now.
UPDATE: On the evening I received that email, I replied and explained that I am deaf and that is why I didn't get the messages. The teacher sent back a response apologizing for the misunderstanding.