Thursday, June 30, 2016

Frustration With the Department of Rehabilitation

There is a time in any relationship when you have to ask yourself, "Why the hell do I want to be with you?" You know the initial excitement has fizzled to contempt; the promises the other person made have never come to pass and then the other person seems more ignorant of you than supportive. I have long wondered at my relationship with the California Department of Rehabilitation in this way.

A case worker once told me to "Just go back home to England, we don't need you here."  The same case worker told me about training, had me apply then when I was accepted made all kinds of excuses as to why the State of California could not afford to send me for the ttraining.

The other day I received notice to go to a job fair at my local employment office. The purpose to find work with Comcast; as an installation technician.

Flyer received with notice to attend for interview for an installation technician.
Comcast Job Opportunity Flyer
I noticed that a word prominent in the instruction to attend was  "Install." So my brain started working on this. Are these jobs only for installation technicians? or Are there vacancies for other posts? I could do customer service jobs, work in a call center or something. But just to make sure I decided to call.

The call was answered by a person, who was friendly but then didn't know of any other job areas being recruited for. The job fair was only for installers. Knowing the answer already I asked, "Does this mean that I would need to drive a vehicle?"  "Of course ." Came the reply. "Bring your driving licence with you to the job fair."

"Ah. There is a problem with that ,"I said. "I am blind."

At this point the other man's composure shattered. After all he could not tell me that a blind person need not apply. But a driving licence and eyesight might be neccessary for this job.
He asked, Who had told me about the job fair, I said my case worker at the Department of Rehabilitation.  He was now clearly feeling very embarrsed by the whole conversation. I let him go.

For me this act of total ignorance is no surprise. It is at least the third driving job I have been told to go for in the past year. One was to drive a fork lift truck in a warehouse, a second was to drive tractors on local vineyards during the raisin harvest.

The person who sent me the order to apply for this job doesn't even have the excuse that they sent the job to the wrong e-mail list of cases. They only have blind people on their case load. Theyeven have a Masters degree  from some school or other. I a mere Bachelors degree am able to see the stupidity of the situation, but they from their lofty high tower seem only to see that there job is to send out notices of jobs. No matter how unsuitable to blind people.

If you are blind, the Department of Rehabilitation in California, in my experience, will not seek to aid and support you in achieving independence. Instead you will become mired in their inneptitude, stiffled and strangled by their red tape and left to struggle, while they in their ivory towers will plead with self pity of high workloads, a desperate need to help the poor impoverished blind. All the while loading their own pockets with tax-payers dollars in wages, benefits and pensions and spending the work week in training junkets.

Do you have similar experiences with your local Department of Rehabilitation?