Looking for Answers

By Max Resnik

June 17, 2011 Updated Jun 17, 2011 at 5:42 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Two blind 10-year-old girls were unable to receive a proper education in the Fort Wayne Community Schools this year according to their mother. The reason? FWCS was unable to provide qualified teachers to the girls and the nearly 60 other visually impaired students in the district.

It’s a fight that began back in November 2010 after Hannah and Angelina Hubley’s teacher of nearly seven years did not return to FWCS. The girls, enrolled at Weisser Park Elementary School, were supposed to be given 240 mintues of Braille exercise each week according to their Individualized Education Plans. Rebekah Hubley, the girls’ mother, says they did not receive proper instruction.

Teaching assistants, also provided to aid the visually impaired, were let go according to Hubley. She says it was upon checking the accountability of her daugters’ IEPs that the asssitants were let go.

"We were left with one teacher to service an entire district and they can't. The other teacher they hired didn't do their job, and that was the teacher that was put with our girls. And then when we were trying to keep our IEPs accountable, our assistants were let go."

FWCS then provided the visually impaired students with replacement assistants. These assistants, according to Hubley, could neither read nor write Braille.

“You're going around and going up to students saying, ‘You probably want to go back in your books and look at this again. Re-work this problem. You're not doing it right.’ No one can do that when they can't read or write Braille. You would never put an illiterate person in a sighted classroom.”

The Hubleys attended Monday night’s FWCS board meeting where they made another impassioned plea to the board searching for a resolution. Rebekah Hubley did say that an area administrator for the district approached her, apologized and said the issue would be rectified. Hubley says the solution looks good on paper, but that her faith in FWCS is “shattered.” She says it could be regained but added that no parent should have to fight so hard to ensure that his or her child receives a proper education.

Indiana’s NewsCenter reached out to Fort Wayne Community Schools and they responded saying, “Thank you for asking, but we are not commenting on this issue at this time.”

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