County office and VP issue

purplecatty

Active Member
Last Thursday, Aug. 27th, I received text from my friend at County Courthouse where he is a mailroom clerk. He told me that he is thinking about asking HR for VP in his office (he have TTY). I congrat and encourage him to do so. I gave him ZBusiness Solution number. But my gut feeling that he may not pass it to HR. After that I decide to look up County HR office online and found the number. I called and asked if they knew him and his co worker at mailroom. She said yes. So I explained that he is thinking about VP and I am his friend and I wanted to help him. I gave her ZBusiness solution ph number and she told me that IT dept take cares of it so she transfer call to County IT office and spoke with man name Jason. I explained him like previously said and told him that ZVRS have integrated VP and easy configer firewall. I also said that TTY are obsolete and 90% of deaf population in USA now have VP. Its ADA law require to provide one for deaf mailroom clerk. I kept conversation short and sweet. He will see to that and thanked me. About 15 min later my friend texted me asking why I am crazy to call HR office. I said Nah nothing serious but simply gave them ph number and explaination.

He took pix of Email and sent thru text but pix was fuzzy. So he decide to print out and send me mail. I got his mail today and opened up letter. It was a cut out Email message from HR dept. I was floored what they said. I find it very opressive to my friend. It was cold!!

I did not have it with me, left the cut out home while I am at work typing topic. As far as I can remember:

""Some vendor called and suggested Captioned Screen phone for hearing Impaired employee. We have provided TTY for employees to use. We will not accept Vendor. Until Technology Improved, I would wait.""

Damn!!! That's hurtful and opressive. They seem putting walls on my friend already and planning on preventing him from requesting VP at work. They twisted around my wordings VP into Captioned Video Screen. I DID not say that! I TOLD them Video Phone !! Since that County is part of Govt and they should obey ADA law regardless and must provide him VP when requested. I am keeping this cutout as an evidence against County Govt

Why?? I did jumped in and help... You may think I was barging in and throw them cold water. Probably YES in your opinion. I am outspoken deaf man and don't like opression from Hearing at work. I fights my way thru until I get it or until there is no way to win it.

BECAUSE-- I knew my friend all my life and he was never outspoken. He is quiet and reserved guy and afraid to speak out to his boss or HR. He know that he have rights but whenever Hearing employees tells him, he tend to own it up and swallow it (nodding , ok ok). But when come to his home and I visit, he was upset and complained that he can't have it or do that just because they told him no. I felt real bad for him.

So since that HR and IT dept put wall up on my friend thus trapping them into opressive control. He wants VP at work.. I can go no further and I wonder is there a way around to force County into submission from outside? Like contacting Capitol of State, Local Reprensative ect....

Remind you that this week Deaf Protest is about equal rights.

If you do cares what you read what happened above because I guarantee that similiar situation elsewhere in USA which hurts deaf employees who have desire to have VP or Visual equipments in their workfloor or office.

Can you help me ??? Suggestions???


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Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
I would like to see your friend get the VP if he needs it for his work. However, it really wasn't your place as "vendor" to contact the HR or IT, even if your friend had requested it. From HR's viewpoint, you were just someone trying to drum up business for your company.

I understand that it's hard to stay out when you see your friend not getting the services he needs. I went thru similar situations when I was interpreting. Sometimes I wanted so bad to butt in and "help" a Deaf client obtain more services but ethically I could not. It would seem like I was just trying to get more interpreting work for myself or that I was not empowering the client to do for himself (patronizing). It wasn't professional or ethical.

The only thing I can recommend is that you help your friend (if he wants the help) to be informed as to his rights, and as to what kinds of services are available. Provide him with contact information (if he wants it) and encouragement. If he and HR are willing, maybe you could set up an informative demonstration of the benefits of a VP thru your company's marketing department.

I'm also afraid that you might have put the HR on the defensive by telling them that the ADA requires them to give your friend a VP. That might not be true in his work place. That is, a VP accomodation might not be necessary in order for him to do his job.

But if it is, then HR needs to see that it is his need, and that he's willing to pursue it.

IMO
 

purplecatty

Active Member
Reba

True. I AGREE that is hard to see him not getting VP. I agree that I put HR into defensive mode. I would own it up as my fault for screwing it up. HR should be the one who have information on ADA law. I believe IT made wrong assumption about VP as Captioned Video Screen. Actually, I told them that I am his friend and never mentioned that I was a vendor. He does use TTY sometime just to call other Dept or his family members. So VP still is neccessary for him to allow him to communicate quickly than typing on TTY. He also would be able to get in touch with friends thru VP during his breaks in order to keep himself updated what's happening. It was his purpose requesting for one.

In matter of fact, if I hadn't said anything and let him do the process request HR for VP, it's unlikely he will get it because IT dept have their say so. He would NOT fight for his right. He will just cave in quickly and be quiet about it. His stance is weak. Regardless my encouraging even other friends who does exactly same as I do, he would simply snapped and tell me Leave Me Alone! So me and my friend would just back out and leave him alone and let him cool off.

I did explain to him that we all cares for you and want you to be able to communicate thru VP rather than being a "loner" and complain that no one talk to you when you have TTY and everyone have VP, literally everyone threw away TTY.

I am not alone doing it. His hearing sister and his mother did exactly the same. To be honest he's being difficult to himself. Then few years later he finally decide that it's time for him to have VP. So. If that be the case. I would have to just let him suffer and hear his complaint at home regarding of his work not getting VP..

Oh well. Hope Deaf Protest would change HR mind if they heard in the news.

At my job (works for federal Govt), they provided me VP and VRI even company smartphone for me to use without question asked. They provided Reasonable Accessibily form for me to fill out what I need for my job then had meeting with Local Union, Mgmt, NLRB, and Occupational Nurse all in one room ask me qq and Nurse suggest to have company smartphone for Email and text to Transportation Mgr. It was a breeze. They respects my rights without questions.

If I ever work at County office with him, I would probably chew their ass by filing EEO until they cave in and let me and my friend have VP and VRI due to ADA law.

Catty


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purplecatty

Active Member
Remember that TTY are really obsolete and VP are very popular. I do know very few deaf still using TTY because they were unable to afford ISP or no ISP available in their area (Rural area). Mobile Phones with VP apps are godsend to use but it relies on good signal on location basis unless they use Wifi without firewall filter out (Mcdonalds, Hotels, ect.. most of the time blocks VP data unless you are lucky enuf to get thru in few places or use VPN to bypass hotel firewall)

My point is that my friend wanted to update technology at work so he can call anywhere thru VP and eventually, he may change mind and have VP at his home. So HR can't just simply deny his rights cuz he already have TTY. They need to be educated that VP is a replacement for TTY and allow more freedom and speed of conversation. He have smartphone that his sister helped him but it's Blackberry. I asked him why not Android like my Samsung S4 (now S5). He said his sister simply can't afford that for him. OH well.. (twiddle thumbs)

I beleive you made good suggestion to have an education and demostration to HR and IT dept. I am not a vendor but as a former ZVRS installer, I was told that if any Govt or Companies that I know of that have deaf employees working there, I can simply provide phone number of their HR office and have them call and go over and demostrate the VP equipments.

I did called ZBusiness Solution but no one answering for 15 min. I will have to try again later. Thought if they would work with HR better than I do. I would get credit for it even Im not Z employees.

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DeafDucky

Well-Known Member
Yes you really overstepped your boundaries on this one considering you don't work for them or anywhere else in the same government.

I realize you want to do best for him (who doesn't) but what HE does is HIS own doing- wanting technology but not doing anything about it etc, there isn't much else you can do aside from encouraging him and maybe show him ways to get want he wants and how to.

HE needs to be the one to approach HR- start out with an EMail... HE needs to be the one to provide and educate them about VP and/or show them. In all my years I was the one responsible for my own needs. Yes sometimes my employers did ask me what I needed but none of my family or friends (I can think of one who might but honestly she'd kick my ass first).

If his employer is going to be providing the VP though, I don't think it would be a bright idea to even be using it on his breaks to make personal calls but then what do I know seems many people get away with that everywhere I look.

Unfortunately damage has been done so it's going to be that much harder on him to work with them. You can probably help him research, find information and coach him OUTSIDE of his work place. Jumping in and advocating for him (from my understanding without his knowledge too) will also make it look bad on HIM and their view of him too.

I wouldn't even provide numbers if you are a FORMER ZVRS installer though maybe you can give them directly to the deaf employees if you know them. You may be misrepresenting yourself to HR if you do that and in an odd way I think that's how they interpreted your call but I wasn't there so can't say what the conversation was like.

Unfortunately your workplace is not like most other places and I doubt that the HR or anyone at his work place know about or will even hear about the Deaf protest (it's happening on a HOLIDAY weekend for pete's sake...).
 

Calvin

In Hazzard County
Super Moderator
Premium Member
UPS provided TTY per the lawsuit several years ago but I've only used it once or twice in the early days before texting. Texting became primary communication these days.

I work in international shipping department, if there is discrepancies to follow up with, most of the time I e-mail the customers to communicate and 90% of the time I was able to resolve and forward their shipment once it clears customs. If a phone call is needed, I have co worker or supervisor make calls for me to speak to the customer.

I hope it works out for those involved but it may be a uphill battle to have VP in most workplace. Many smartphones have VP app such as Ntouch to make calls... that could be alternate to have VP and TV at workplace.
 

The Highlander

New Member
UPS provided TTY per the lawsuit several years ago but I've only used it once or twice in the early days before texting. Texting became primary communication these days.

I work in international shipping department, if there is discrepancies to follow up with, most of the time I e-mail the customers to communicate and 90% of the time I was able to resolve and forward their shipment once it clears customs. If a phone call is needed, I have co worker or supervisor make calls for me to speak to the customer.

I hope it works out for those involved but it may be a uphill battle to have VP in most workplace. Many smartphones have VP app such as Ntouch to make calls... that could be alternate to have VP and TV at workplace.

Problem, My work is not allows to use my personal mobile in the shop plus I have limited data usage. I don't think smartphone could be alternate to have VP/TV at workplace due poor signal in the workplace.
 

Calvin

In Hazzard County
Super Moderator
Premium Member
That's true and point taken.

Problem, My work is not allows to use my personal mobile in the shop plus I have limited data usage. I don't think smartphone could be alternate to have VP/TV at workplace due poor signal in the workplace.
 

purplecatty

Active Member
Yes you really overstepped your boundaries on this one considering you don't work for them or anywhere else in the same government.

I realize you want to do best for him (who doesn't) but what HE does is HIS own doing- wanting technology but not doing anything about it etc, there isn't much else you can do aside from encouraging him and maybe show him ways to get want he wants and how to.

HE needs to be the one to approach HR- start out with an EMail... HE needs to be the one to provide and educate them about VP and/or show them. In all my years I was the one responsible for my own needs. Yes sometimes my employers did ask me what I needed but none of my family or friends (I can think of one who might but honestly she'd kick my ass first).

If his employer is going to be providing the VP though, I don't think it would be a bright idea to even be using it on his breaks to make personal calls but then what do I know seems many people get away with that everywhere I look.

Unfortunately damage has been done so it's going to be that much harder on him to work with them. You can probably help him research, find information and coach him OUTSIDE of his work place. Jumping in and advocating for him (from my understanding without his knowledge too) will also make it look bad on HIM and their view of him too.

I wouldn't even provide numbers if you are a FORMER ZVRS installer though maybe you can give them directly to the deaf employees if you know them. You may be misrepresenting yourself to HR if you do that and in an odd way I think that's how they interpreted your call but I wasn't there so can't say what the conversation was like.

Unfortunately your workplace is not like most other places and I doubt that the HR or anyone at his work place know about or will even hear about the Deaf protest (it's happening on a HOLIDAY weekend for pete's sake...).


Yup I thought about what I did overstepping boundary. Personally, County goverment should be treated same as all level of Govt (Federal, State, County, and City) and County HR should have exact same requirement as Federal Govt related to ADA law.

Guess what!! County offices are sitting on Large deaf population in the County seat where State School of the Deaf, Deaf Museum, Deaf Club all are within few blocks from County office. Sadly they do not see Deaf same way. Get the pictures?

To be honest about VP at workplace. My friend work for County 28 years. He knew what he was doing. I visited his office once a month for lunch. He is allowed to use county computer to browse the net ect for personal use. So if VP were provided to him, he would know how to control how much time he can use VP for personal use. He still can use it for calling Departments ect for work use too. It is good idea for him to have it on his job.

I have VP at my work in breakroom, it is always for personal use and my boss doesn't care at all as long as I maintain breaktime slots. Even if in emergency, I can just simply use VP to call back with my boss permission so he can find someone cover me temporarily. I cannot use my workstation computer for personal use. But allows me to text, email, browse net, watch Netflix and even VP chat all that thru my own Samsung S5. My boss even came by and he waved at my friend on my phone VP (he is my co worker on day off) and told me to tell him get ur ass to work now lol. Because I works at dock that have downtimes even up to 3 hours. So I am allowed a playtime on phone so does my hearing co worker.

It all depends on every workplaces like you said. Not all workplace are the same. And even every bosses are different.

As for me giving ph number to HR as a former ZVRS installer, guilty as charged. I should have thought twice before overstepping boundary. I rushed it over without thinking. Maybe damage was done.

Educating my friend rights to have VP and demonstration may not work well with him unless he suddenly out of blue that he want to fight for it.

I wish HR and IT dept being more understanding about reality out there that many deaf have VPs at Govt workplace. I can't expect them to.

Mind are the most dangerous thing in the world right!?
Lol

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purplecatty

Active Member
UPS provided TTY per the lawsuit several years ago but I've only used it once or twice in the early days before texting. Texting became primary communication these days.

I work in international shipping department, if there is discrepancies to follow up with, most of the time I e-mail the customers to communicate and 90% of the time I was able to resolve and forward their shipment once it clears customs. If a phone call is needed, I have co worker or supervisor make calls for me to speak to the customer.

I hope it works out for those involved but it may be a uphill battle to have VP in most workplace. Many smartphones have VP app such as Ntouch to make calls... that could be alternate to have VP and TV at workplace.

I used to work for UPS 28 yrs ago. I worked for 1 year as Unloader then I got other job then quit UPS. UPS did discriminate me and my friend from promoting to Sorter while Hearing co worker moves up within 3 months or so.

Sad that it takes lawsuit to get UPS to provide TTY. Yes, today Texting are primary communication I use it at work too.

Sometime bosses or HR can be AH not providing Deaf communication accessabilty that force us deafie to fight for it.

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DeafDucky

Well-Known Member
I hope it works out for those involved but it may be a uphill battle to have VP in most workplace. Many smartphones have VP app such as Ntouch to make calls... that could be alternate to have VP and TV at workplace.

He might be able to have the VP on the work computer- the issue there would be firewalls though and it sounds like it could work if he already can access the internet. I only say that because just about everywhere I worked since 2007 REALLY locked down their network so that you couldn't use the internet at ALL. But the smart phone or tablet idea Calvin mentioned is another way to go.

If he were to get a standalone VP-- hmm well the newer ones rely on wifi or direct internet connections I think. I think what HR and IT may or may not be worried about is that they'd have to revamp the phone system. I once suggested a amplified phone(handset) but the problem is the type of phone system- they don't always play nice with any new technology (in the end I got an 'in-line' amplifier thing).

Honestly they may be stingy with their budget not realizing that VP is actually free. Could be wrong.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
I'm not sure about this situation.

It's my understanding that the ADA applies to accommodations in the work place for work-related tasks. If the Deaf worker doesn't need a VP to accomplish his work tasks, then why would the workplace need to provide one?

If the VP is just for personal calls, that doesn't seem required unless the company is also providing phones for all the employees to make personal calls.

Of course, I come from work experience where none of the places I ever worked allowed workers to make personal calls during working hours; some places didn't even have phones for any workers to use. When we were at work we just worked except for lunch break. :)
 

purplecatty

Active Member
My friend is allowed to use computer at work for personal use and he have tty w phone. He wanted smartphone badly but his sister only afforded him just blackberry. It sure sucks for him. Because his sister have Verizon family plan so thats why.

I have feeling that IT dept think it would cost $$ to purchase VP when its free. If VRI were provided then there may be cost involve for equipments but using VRI depend how long they use and billed.

My friend is leery to have VP at home. I even donated Ojo for him to use several years ago but he never touch it even I gave him demostration. I have Zojo as well collecting dust so is Z20. I may will return Z20 for ZMax for my home.

I will have to let him make up his mind about VP and let the dry spell on connecting friend eats him up. And maybe one day that he'll snapped and demand VP lol (late comers)

Catty



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