Friday, November 26, 2004

Here Is The Proof That USA Is Going Down

When a friend forwarded the email to me, I was horrified to learn of Eric Heckman's whereabouts.

This pig (Trust me, he ain't a gentleman to start with!) has no business of trying to attain a law degree. I mean, a developmentally disabled man out of a local group home probably qualified to study for the law degree than Eric.

Of course, my friend forwarded it to me because s/he probably is horrified at the idea of Eric as a lawyer. It proved that the standards in this country just fell down another level.

Horrible, horrible, horrible. Let's hope that Eric gets a brain aneurysm during the studies. We'd be better off having him that way. When he continued to come back for another semester at Gallaudet, the quality of education at Gallaudet slid down much farther than ever. If he ever attained a law degree from another school, it makes us look awful. Eric is the true, classic idiot of modern society.


* * *

DOR approves law school as employment goal

Eric Heckman is deaf, and he wants to be a lawyer. In February 2003, the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) approved Heckman for vocational rehabilitation services. But DOR refused to support Heckman's employment goal because he:
  • Has a bachelor's degree he can use to find employment;
  • Did not score high enough on a DOR career assessment/evaluation; and
  • Had to agree to take the LSAT exam before DOR would write his Individual Plan for Employment (IPE)
DOR wanted lower employment goal

The law school Heckman wanted to attend at that time did not requirean LSAT exam. DOR insisted that Heckman change his employment goal toparalegal or a similar field - to get his foot in the door. Heckman refused, so DOR closed his case.

PAI letter reopens case

Heckman called PAI. Dolores Victor, a staff attorney in PAI's Oakland office, investigated. She agreed to help Heckman with both issues -the case closure and the refusal to support his employment goal. After Victor asked for an informal review of the case closure, DOR reopened it.

DOR changes position

But DOR still would not support Heckman's goal of becoming a lawyer, so Victor represented him at an administrative review hearing. At that hearing, Victor persuaded DOR to change its position.

Then she helped Heckman develop and write his IPE. DOR approved Heckman's plan, which includes (1) LSAT preparation and exam fees;(2) Law school admittance and tuition fees; (3) Books and supplies;(4) Transportation; (5) A tutor (if necessary); (6) Assistive technology, including an evaluation for laptop computer equipment;(7) taking the Bar exam twice (if necessary); and (8) the Bar prepcourse.

PASS approved, too

Victor also helped Heckman get his Plan for Achieving Self Support(PASS) approved after Social Security had delayed it for more than a year.

Stand up for your rights

In Heckman's words, "Attorney Dolores and PAI did a fantastic job helping me." He believes that it is important to hope to reach your dream, to stand up for your rights, to open more opportunities for people with disability. "The law is on our side," he says. "The U.S. Constitution gives us the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We must continue the legacy of Justin Dart, and insist that people with disability not be left out."

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