Strong Support System

Our daughter, Shantel, is in her final semester at South Mountain Community College (SMCC). She will graduate in May, then transfer to Grand Canyon University, a dream she has been following since she was a sophomore in High School. Over the past three years, Shantel developed a very good relationship with the Disability Services Department at SMCC, and has received excellent support from them. They have really done a great job of making sure her text books were scanned and sent to her electronically,  so she could access the information on her phone. In addition, a note taker was assigned to her classes to take notes from class lectures, because Shantel can’t listen to the instructor and the voice over on her phone at the same time. And if the instructor was writing information on the board, Shantel needed someone to capture that information in the lecture notes as well. For the past thee years, all class notes were done as a Word Document and sent to Shantel as an email attachment… All of that has been provided, without fail, for the last three years.

However, now, due to reduction in staffing, or at least that is what Shantel has been told, all of a sudden, the Manager of Disability Services, who nurtured the great relationship with Shantel, and who also met several time with me over the past three years, and has always said she so admires what a “strong support system” Shantel has at home… is using that “strong support system” to excuse herself from doing her job. Plain and simple in my opinion. When the going got tough, she bailed…

I’m going to share with you what we were told and let you decide for yourself…

This semester Shantel is taking Accounting III, Biology 201 (with lab), and Psychology Statistics.

This past week the assigned note taker in her Accounting class showed up and took notes for Shantel…This is what was given to Shantel at the end of class.


Yep, that’s right, six pages of hand written notes given to a totally blind student… ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

When Shantel met with the Manager of Disability Services to let her know she needs these notes typed into a word document and emailed to her as an attachment…she was told  “since you have such a strong support system at home… your mom can read these notes to you and help you with the assignments... Here we go again… let me translate for you what I have learned over the years a  “strong support system at home really means… you are now a short timer at SMCC, and we don’t have the resources to support you, so we are going to DUMP all this on your mom, because we know she will not let  you down this close to earning your degree…!!!

I was OUTRAGED to say the least. I mean, who in today’s world of technology can’t supply the note taker with a laptop so they can type the notes into a word document and send them to Shantel as an email attachment so she can access the information from her phone, and the voice over will read the notes to her, and she can access the information over and over again as needed until the test…? But, no, they sent the six pages of notes home to me to read to Shantel… Well, I  got up very early the next morning, and typed the hand written notes into a word document and sent them to Shantel as an email attachment… She received them and has been reviewing them all weekend… If I can do that for her, why can’t they…?

Then, to add salt to the open wound, she also was given the assignment  to have read chapter one of her Accounting III book, which hasn’t been scanned yet… So guess who they said could read 40 pages of that to her over the weekend??? Yep, that would be me… the “strong support system at home…” Now, don’t get me wrong. I will do anything to help Shantel, but this is ridiculous… At this point, I honestly believe they have checked out on her, and know that I won’t. So now the new “dump on your mom phrase has become YOU HAVE SUCH A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM AT HOME… I asked Shantel what she thought when they said that to her and she said the same thing… they are short-staffed, so it’s OK to dump this on my mom…

Again, I will do ANYTHING to help Shantel. That said, please know, I NEVER, EVER, liked math, or anything to do with reporting numbers…. so what part of reading 40 pages of this do you think I’m excited about???


OMG, it’s all about numbers, and creating statistics tables…. OK, yes, I was a Manager of three departments at one point in my Corporate America Career… but anyone who knew me knew I HATED anything to do with budget, or statistics… HATED it, and was soooooooooo glad that budget only came around once a year.

I welcome your comments and always appreciate your support…

Stay Tuned!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. katsbynp
    Jan 20, 2014 @ 01:36:46

    First, thank goodness Shantel does have you for a support system. I understand and know you would help Shantel in any way to help her reach her goal however I am outraged that this would fall to you. It certainly sounds like they have checked out on her which I think is terrible.

    I would certainly call the Disability Service Department and voice my displeasure since they have now shifted the work and support they were provided on you. I will definitely be interested in the outcome.

    You know you have my support and thanks for sharing


    • beyondcinderella
      Jan 20, 2014 @ 02:17:17

      Thank you for your support Kathy. Yes, you can bet that I will follow-up with the disability service manager… but at this point I doubt that they are going to change their stand on this now that Shantel is so close to graduating… Sadly, this has been the norm of what we have experienced over the years with grade school, high school, and now community college, when the student is about to leave the school…


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