Forum

return to work - or not!

Sorry to dump but feeling not only vile physically and emotionally this morning but horribly isolated too so didn’t know where else to come but my virtual friends here on the board. Had a first meeting with my Head teacher yesterday to look at my return to teaching after being absent with a major relapse since January and it was truly awful. I only teach 3 half days as it is but everything was met with a no including widening doors and putting in ramps. She can’t get funding so they can’t do it. I know they are not legally allowed to do this and I’ve been in touch with my Union and I’m sure it will all work out eventually and therefore be better for disabled kids, parents and teachers that may follow me in the future but at what emotional cost to me? I’m already a weepy mess and getting anywhere in my new wheels is a mountain of planning and emotional strength and resolve. I feel so helpless, I can’t go anywhere on my own so reliant on friends and family. Now the mountain has just turned into Everest!!! Feel like jacking job in but for the moment the fact that it’s not right or fair how I’m being treated is keeping me, keeping on. The old me, the trade union rep me would have waving her flag by now and campaigning on her colleagues behalf but everyone else bar one has been strangely silent so frankly I don’t want to stay there in the long term anyway.

I thought I was getting better but today I just feel like relapse day 1 again. :frowning: Oh and spent last night contorting in pain in the grips of the MS hug with a bit of vomiting as my stomach sphincter spasmed thrown in for good measure.) I’m now on sofa weeping with my fluffiest blanket and a box of tissues.

Any comforting words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Maxine x

Hi Maxine,

First of all a virtual (((HUG))) because you are obviously feeling lousy.

Employment issues are always paved with grit and are difficult for a non specialist to wade through. What you are asking for are reasonable adjustments to the building. Funding is of course an issue but it doesn’t mean the school is off the hook. If what you are asking for is reasonable they have to try to find the money – I know schools are independent but the building still belongs to the local authority – can they help?

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com is a good web site to help you get your head round the Equalities Act and what it means for a disabled person in the workplace.

If it gets to the point where you need to take formal action (Raise a Grievance etc) CAB or ACAS can help you.

Good Luck

PS Don’t assume that head teachers know diddly about their responsibilities under the Equalities act – it is likely know nothing.

PPS I sympathise with the accessibility issues – I was recently looking for a dentist with wheelchair access – you would think I was asking for diamonds.

Oh Maxine,

At least you can talk to the forum and know people can understand some of your symptoms and problems. Not sure what you can do but just wanted to say hi.

The MS hug sounds awful, hope you’re feeling a bit better today.

huge hug (nice one this time)

Jen x

Thanks guys, I appreciate your loveliness (((((hugs back to you))))). The forum is great cause everyone’s been there in the pit of despondency from time to time so know what it’s like and can empathise. Son back from school and so it’s off to bed for me now I think. Hopefully having a good cry today means tomorrow will feel better. Max xxx

Hello Maxine,

It completely understandable that you’re feeling unenthusiastic and less than motivated- it sound like you’ve been through the mill of late.

You may find it useful to contact the Disability Law Service.

Should you wish to receive legal advice over the phone, the MS Legal Ofiicer has telephone advice sessions on Mondays and Fridays between 10am & 1pm and Wednesdays between 2pm & 5pm.

You can contact them via email at msadvice@dls.org.uk

Telephone: 020 7791 9800

I got all this information from the lovely people who work on the MS Society Helpline- they also suggested you might want to give them a call, should you wish to talk through it all with somebody. They are totally great, so it comes highly recommended from me.

You can reach them on 0808 800 8000

Good luck with it all

Kind regards

Stewart (admin)