Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Rant: Disability Services Discrimination

I needed someplace to rant, so here I am.

I'm trying to start a small retail store in my neighborhood shopping district. I have been taking business classes through SCORE. To my luck, there happened to be another Deaf woman in the class who had an interpreter with her. They both encouraged me to contact Disabled Vocational Rehab. SCORE also links to DVR as someone to contact for both business help and grants.
So I look up DVR.. they have a terrible website that does not include much of anything. Today I cant even get it to load. I believe there was a phone number. But no email to ask questions, no information on how to contact them or for what for what, no list of the steps that need to be taken. In fact it gives me the impression that if I were to go through them for a job they would help me find the most menial task possible. For some people that is great. For me- well, I attend college, held a corporate job for almost 5 years- one that included a lot of responsibility and communicating with venders all over the world. I was fine. And I refuse to believe that being HOH means I cant do what ever I want. I will admit that I am uncomfortable applying for jobs I feel I can not do: answering phones, loud environments, anywhere where lots of information is exchanged quickly.
ANYWAY. I broke down and called [shudder] the phone number listed through SCORE. Its a different person now, who is apparently unaware that SCORE is giving out his number, and he has nothing to do with business stuff. He passes me on to someone else who, apparently does. That guy passed me on to one of their locations to set up an appointment and do the orientation. That office decided I was too far away [I'm not really, I'm happy to drive down there], and passed me on to a different location [equally far away], where a woman with a heavy accent that I would place as German, maybe, answered, and have a very confusing conversation with me, and now apparently I am showing up for an orientation next week. I didn't get an address. If their web site will load, maybe I can find it.
Every person, I asked "can I do this online? is there an e-mail address I can communicate through?" They seemed to be confused why I though that that would be an option, and then skipped past the question as fast as possible and gave me a new number to call. Somehow I successfully wrote down 3 different numbers. I'm impressed.

Why? Why in this day and age is there not an e-mail contact given. E-mail is FREE. Why am I expected to call them, multiple people, at the DISABILITY office. The first person I talked to should have taken my email, e-mailed me the pass on information, for who to email next.
They should have the steps to take to get in touch with them listed on their completely non helpful website.


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