Sunday, March 12, 2006

SMC Compliance With Disability Laws and Grants

As usual, a picture speaks a thousand words. Here's a screenshot I recently took from Santa Monica College's Disabled Student Center webpage for Compliance with Disability Laws.

SMC Compliance with Disability Laws webpage under construction

Notice that this screenshot demonstrates that this webpage has been under construction for three long years. Obviously, compliance with disability laws is not a priority at SMC. Compare this screenshot with the one in our blog article "
Picture of Professionalism" for SMC's inquiry letter to the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, when I ran a SMC Google search for "Compliance with Disability Laws," I found nothing that would show SMC is committed to complying with these laws. The first search page returned was for the one shown above.

According to SMC's Standard IIA for Instructional Programs:

Most Emeritus students have some type of disability, either apparent or hidden, or have restricted mobility due to age-related factors. The Pathfinders Program, a California State Exemplary Program serves individuals who have suffered a stroke, head injury or brain damage. Specialized speech and exercise classes are offered to these students. In addition, an innovative speech enhancement program is offered in the program’s computer lab, using specialized speech software for aphasics.

Who is the ultimate administrative power behind the Emeritus students? None other than Dean of External Programs, Katharine Muller. According to the SMC Academic Affairs webpage, she is: "responsible for coordinating the operations of the College’s satellite locations and the academic programs and related student services that take place at these sites. Current off-campus areas include the Academy of Entertainment and Technology, Emeritus College, Center for Design, Center for the Humanities and the College of Design, Art, and Architecture." Perhaps that has a lot to explain about the alleged violation of disabled student rights at the Academy of Entertainment and Technology. To date, Katharine Muller has not responded to the email I forwarded her concerning AET Professor Jim Keeshen's hate speech against the disabled.

Although it is apparent from the lack of information pertaining to SMC's Compliance with Disability Laws that SMC is not concerned about its disabled students, it sure likes to reel in those disability grant dollars. Here's the breakdown takes from SMC's Board of Trustee Minutes for September 11, 2000.



It is recommended that the Board of Trustees approve the following consultant contracts for services related to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities Grant to be rendered October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001.

(1) Olivia Raynor, for a total amount not to exceed $4,000 ($100 per hour for 40 hours)

Comment: This consultant will be a professional evaluator, responsible for all SCDD PDF project evaluation, methods and analysis, throughout the entire 12 months of the grant. She will participate in all evaluation and dissemination activities. She will establish and implement both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods. Her work will conclude with an end of project report disseminated through State Developmental Disability Council channels and posted on the California DD Netlink, a UCLA UAP website.

(2) Jeanne Gaines in an amount not to exceed $27,500 ($2,291/month for 12 months).

Comment: This consultant will be responsible for identifying and implementing disability-related modifications needed for trainees to perform job-related tasks. In collaboration with the other SCDD Grant team members, she will evaluate applicants' project eligibility and disability-related accommodation issues, assist in the creation of individualized apprenticeship placement plans, assist with job placement, coordinate support services, contribute to the project evaluation, and perform other duties as assigned by the Project Co-directors.

(3) Heidi Dorn in an amount not to exceed $27,500 ($2,291/month for 12 months)

Comment: The consultant will develop apprentice placements and continuing job opportunities for trainees with both public and private employers. She will be responsible for recruiting and evaluating community college graduates who have developmental disabilities, creating individualized placement plans, placing trainees in both apprentice training positions and continuing employment, monitoring trainee progress, contributing to project evaluation and other duties as assigned by Project Co-directors.

Funding Source: State Council on Developmental Disabilities Grant

Here's the SMC Board of Trustees Minutes for May 1, 2000.

Title of Grant: A Model for Job Placement and Training of
Community College Graduates with Developmental Disabilities
Granting Agency: State Center for Developmental Disabilities
Requested Funding: $133,311
Matching Funds: N/A
Performance Period: One year: September 2000 – August 2001

Summary: SMC’s Disabled Student Services (DSS) will develop a model community college program for job placement and pre- and post-employment training for individuals with disabilities.

Here's the SMC Board of Trustees Minutes for June 4, 2001.

Title of Grant: Career/Employment Service Model
Granting Agency: State Center for Developmental Disabilities
Requested Funding: $139,515
Matching Funds N/A

Performance Period: October 1, 2001 – September 30, 2002

Summary: SMC Disabled Student Services (DSS) will develop a training program for Career Center counselors to increase the service and support of students with developmental disabilities. Students with developmental disabilities will also benefit from classroom instruction and individualized assistance in career planning and job search skills.

In a Santa Monica College press release, dated September 11, 2000, by Bruce Smith, entitled "Grant to Help Underemployed Developmentally Disabled Grads," Mr. Smith reveals some shocking information as follows:

This story is all too familiar: a Santa Monica College student with a developmental disability goes on to UCLA, graduates with honors, and ends up working in a gas station in Westwood.

But with the help of a $126,646 grant from the state, SMC is in the process of designing a program to help developmentally disabled graduates get the kinds of jobs they are prepared to do.

"We've seen people graduating with occupational certificates, Associate in Arts degrees, and even B.A.s, ending up in jobs way below what we would expect with their academic preparation," said Sandi Burnett, disabled student services professor.

Developmental disabilities by federal definition include cerebral palsy, autism, seizure disorders, and other physical and mental impairments occurring before the age of 22.

"There are lots of job placement services for people with developmental disabilities, but they are geared toward people with much lower level skills than our graduates," Weil said.

This is the first time the college has received a grant from the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Disabled honor students with cerebral palsy and autism end up working in gas stations in Westwood? And they receive occupational certificates from SMC? The Academy of Entertainment and Technology, under the command of both Dean Katharine Muller and Professor Jim Keeshen offer occupational certificates. They also have many disabled students, both with physical and developmental disabilities. AET also has low job placement and internship figures according to their records. Perhaps Jim Keeshen's hate speech on March 1, 2006 to his ET 18 class at AET that "autism" is a "mental disease" would contribute to SMC's poor job placement for the developmentally disabled combined with the lack of compliance with the law.

As AET students, should we prepare for those lucrative high paying vocational careers that AET promised or should we practice the following words: "Regular? Unleaded? Or Premium?"

-- Des Manttari,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

Feel free to link or print this; just include the SAVE SMC URL:

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home