Sunday, April 5, 2009
My children and I met our friends Lynnette and Brooke at the Norfolk, Virginia zoo this past Saturday. I have pictures, rescued from my parent's estate, which show my brother and me as 3 year olds feeding the ducks at that zoo. So, I was interested to see how different it would be now so many years later. And not surprisingly, it looked completely different.
The remodeling included many accessibility features which pleased me, and anyone in a wheelchair plus one companion could enter at no charge. That's an interesting feature that I have never seen at any other public institution.
The walkways were paved for the most part, and the bathrooms had some of the best accessibility features I have ever seen. But, the planners fell short on one very important thing. All the exhibits have fences around them, and the top rail of the fence falls at perfect eye level for someone in a wheelchair.
Neither Brooke nor Ashley could see past the fence. I wonder, when facilities are incorporating accommodations for people with disabilities, do they ever ask a disabled person their opinion?
My son, Corey, who has been with our family for only four years, is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I know what some of the features of that particular diagnosis are, but is an extreme lack of attention to detail one of them? I can't find anything about that specifically, and wondered if other parents had experienced the same thing.
Ashley is being evaluated by a group of communication specialists from our local university. The evaluation was initiated about many, many requests to her IEP team. In preparation for the evaluation, I was asked to videotape Ashley communicating in the home and community environments. The school staff would be videotaping at school.
Last week I requested copies of the school's videotapes, or at least the opportunity to come to the school to view the tapes. The school's response was "We'll have to discuss that among ourselves and get back to you."
Now I know they know I have a right to view those tapes. What is up with their response?