Friday, March 21, 2014

(If this question is alright:) Did you feel that having you run for fitness tests was a fair assessment? You mentioned that you were active in other activities at the same time, but do you feel that the fitness test would have better measured your capabilities if they had allowed you to use a wheelchair, or would that not have been possible or even unnecessary? Also, if you are able to answer this, were there other students who couldn't run at all and who were not offered any alternatives?

I’m of the mind that you can ALWAYS ask, and if I’m not comfortable answering something, I’ll be sure and let you know.
I’ve never really been asked this question, so it’s hard to know how to respond to it.  So, I guess I’ll start with what I know?  This was one specific year at one specific elementary school that was not known for making things accessible or having very evolved views of students with disabilities (at least in my experience.)  I honestly don’t remember running the mile in other years, though I’m sure I did it.  I definitely feel like cutting the objective in half may have been a bit more feasible for me (and it would have meant 20 minutes or so running, which is not so far outside of the time it takes the least athletic able kids.  
I don’t think a wheelchair would have been feasible, just because that was the year I was just starting to learn to push myself in one.  It was new and difficult.  So that wouldn’t have been a fair measurement either.  
I don’t remember many other kids who were in my circumstances at that school.  I think most of the kids with disabilities that I was familiar with were more severely impacted and in a more contained and separate environment.  I feel like I could have been a bit of an anomaly for the staff at this school for sure.  There were so many other instances that made it clear the staff just didn’t know how to handle a student like me.
Thanks for the question.  If you have any others, don’t hesitate to ask.
ETA: Also I meant to add that I COULD run. It wasn’t that I couldn’t, it was just that it took more physical energy and more time for me to accomplish 

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