[nabs] Houston, we have a problem - Please Read
zack.olson.85 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 7 14:42:54 EDT 2011
Score! ^_^ Glad to hear it turned out well. :D
From: NABS SecondVP
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 12:14 PM
To: Discussion list for NABS,National Alliance of Blind Students.
Subject: Re: [nabs] Houston, we have a problem - Please Read
I just wanted to say thank you for all of your help. I've had quite
a long, and often emotionally taxing, week, so haven't been able to
reply to all of your wonderful suggestions. I'm emailing from my
internship. On Wednesday, I sent my supervisor an email explaining my
concerns, the system I'd developed (thanks, in every single way), to
all of your wonderful suggestions. He didn't reply, which was
concerning, and I was kind of convinced I was fired or something, LOL.
This morning, we spoke for a bit about it. He said he was crushed when
he read my email and hadn't ever intended to make me feel like I was
relying on him, or others, too much. He said everyone here would be
happy to help me, and if that involved walking out into the big
gathering room to help me track someone down, than that was fine. He
told me all he wants me to do is the social work-y stuff myself; the
interviewing participants, the engaging, the connecting. Everything
else, he said, there are many people around to help me with. He also
said that he got a little tear-y over the email and apologized
All very nice, but I'm still not sure what exactly he had been
speaking about earlier in the week in terms of relying on people. But,
honestly, it doesn't matter. I'm not doing any thing wrong, he doesn't
mind if I lean on people to locate participants for me, just as long
as I do the real "work" part of it (which was obviously my intention).
So I over reacted and all is fine. Thank you all for your wonderful
support and great suggestions. If I weren't so sensitive and on edge I
wouldn't have needed them, LOL, but I'm sure glad to have them. *grin*
On 10/4/11, Ashley Bramlett <bookwormahb at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Is the facility a day care for the mentally ill? It sounds like some
> are there every day and others
> just a few set days. Yes this would be challenging. Good luck with finding
> solution and its good the
> computer software is accessible.
> If there is a schedule of when participants come in, someone could read
> to you and you can jot down when those participants you need to see are
> around. I think the best way is to walk around and ask is Joe in the room
> whomever you need to see? And just ask staff if they have seen Joe or
> he is?
> You are new and anyone would need help because they do not know what they
> look like. The only way a sighted person would know the identification is
> they wore nametags. Do they have tags? Is there a uniform these
> wear? If you're totally blind, you cannot see that, but other sighted
> do. That is the only way I can think a sighted intern would indentify the
> participants: clothing or name tags.
> If they wear tags, you can ask anyone to scan on your behalf for that
> person. I've done that when I'm looking for a particular person in a crowd
> and even then, due to the unorganized heap of people, that does not always
> If they have no identifying feature, the best thing, IMO, is to ask other
> coworkers. Once you learn their voices you can be more independent.
> Its good the supervisor has expectations of independence, but this sounds
> nearly impossible because you don't know who the participants are and have
> no way of identifying them. If you go to a room, call out their name, and
> they happen to be there and say, Caitlin, I'm Joe Smith. Then you've
> did it independently. But this means that Joe has to be in the room at the
> exact time you went there. And given you said they can be a number of
> I don't think that would happen.
> I'd say do what feels right and if your supervisor has issues, explain
> you are new and did not know how to find and identify the people. Say that
> using someone's eyes is your alternative way of doing the task.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NABS SecondVP
> Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 12:09 PM
> To: nabs at acb.org
> Subject: [nabs] Houston, we have a problem - Please Read
> Hi Everyone,
> If I may, I'd like to draw on your collective wisdom and
> experiences. I have a bit of a quandary. Here's the set up.
> As I have mentioned before, to get my MSW I need a student
> internship. I'm interning at a facility that provides therapy,
> housing, employment, and other sorted services to people who are
> mentally ill, or who have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and
> substance abuse. This is my second full week there, and I think I have
> a pretty good understanding now for the lay out of the building.
> Yesterday, I met with my supervisor and we talked about the different
> roles I'll be filling at the facility. Because I'm new, he wants me to
> get acquainted with as many participants as possible, which I am so
> happy to do. To do this, I'll update their personal data in the
> computer system, which is totally accessible to me (WOOO!).
> Yesterday, I met with one of the individuals on my list to update
> his data. My supervisor helped me locate this man; the supervisor
> guided me to him, introduced me, and then me and the participant went
> off to do the updating of his file. My supervisor gave me a list of 33
> participants that I have to review their files. Great, fine,
> wonderful, whatever you want.
> The problem comes in with locating the participants. Some
> participants come five days a week, some come Mondays/Wednesdays only,
> some come only Tuesdays and Thursdays, etc. I'm only there on Mondays
> and Fridays, and have no idea which participants attend programs each
> day. My supervisor told me I could ask a staff member to tell me from
> my list what participants were around that day, which is fine. But
> then he said he wants me to locate the participants independently.
> Actually, he said that I needed to develop a "professional persona" at
> the agency. He said that the staff was willing to help me however I
> needed, but I couldn't rely on them all the time, and that he
> certainly wasn't going to lead me to every person on the list. I got
> the feeling he was intimating I was relying on the staffs help for too
> much...I didn't know I was, but may be I am, who knows? He said that
> the other staff is there to help me, but that isn't their sole
> function (well, duh) and that at every job I'd have to develop ways of
> doing things to compensate for my blindness. This, I totally agree
> with, of course. It sounded like he didn't want me to use the staff to
> seek out participants with me. THis is very concerning because I don't
> know these participant's voices, so I can't just wander around the
> facility shouting "hey, Lorraine, I hear you, let me interview you!"
> or barging in on a conversation if I hear Mark's voice.
> Let me explain to that between classes the participants wander all
> over the building. Some are out back smoking, others hang out and play
> pool, watch TV, or socialize in the massive room where there are
> chairs and tables for meetings. I have no clue how I'm supposed to
> seek out these people without sighted assistance. I won't know if the
> people I'm looking for are in a group/class, hanging out, or out back
> smoking. It doesn't sound like he wants me to utilize the staff to
> help me find them, so the only other thing I can think to do is go up
> to random people in the hallway, hope they're participants and not
> staff, and ask them if they've seen Person X or Y. But I'm not sure if
> this is creative or goes along with helping me build a professional
> This whole thing is giving me a tremendous amount of anxiety and I
> have no brilliant ideas to resolve it that might appease my
> supervisor. My fiance, who is sighted, said that me doing the activity
> entirely by mself would be like me walking around, poking people to
> see if they're breathing and asking them if they were John or Hilda;
> entirely ridiculous, but maybe he's right.
> So my question, oh wise group members, is can you think of a
> solution for me? Am I being entirely over reactive about this? And
> what can I say to my supervisor, if anything, because I'm not sure if
> I should let him know how entirely freaked out this makes me.
> Please and thank you for any help you can give,
> nabs mailing list
> nabs at acb.org
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> nabs at acb.org
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