Thursday, May 12, 2005

I haven’t seen your child but he feels fine to me.

I know I might be breaking the No Agenda Zone rules but
I think Political correctness might have gone a little too far here

This is a true story out of Colorado.

DENVER — A judge has cleared the way for a blind couple to open a day-care center in Colorado, saying the state's refusal to issue them a license violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Christine Hutchinson said she and her husband, Thomas, will move ahead with plans to open a facility, although they are worried they will be hounded by inspectors looking for problems.
If they stopped now, she said, "We felt it would be an injustice to the kids we fought so hard to care for."
Administrative-law Judge Matthew Norwood last week overturned a state decision denying the Hutchinsons a day-care license.
They would apparently be the first blind couple to operate a day care in Colorado, one of only a few states where courts have allowed blind people to run day cares, the couple's attorney, Scott LaBarre, said yesterday.
"It's yet another victory in a long string of victories for blind and disabled people, demonstrating to the public as well as our government that you can't discriminate solely on the basis of blindness," said LaBarre, who is also blind.
Liz McDonough, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the state has not decided whether to appeal.
The couple, who live in Grand Junction, worked at Thomas Hutchinson's sisters' day-care center until it closed down two years ago, then applied for a license to operate their own.
Both hold bachelor's degrees in child and family studies and have taken first-aid courses. Before applying for a license, they also bought safety devices to help them run a day care. Thomas Hutchinson has been blind from birth; Christine Hutchinson can perceive light.
Human Services denied them a license last year after Christine Hutchinson's doctor suggested her blindness could "adversely affect" children.
In his ruling, Norwood said the state could not deny the license based only on the couple's blindness, especially when the Hutchinsons have shown competence in caring for children.
He said the license would include restrictions the Hutchinsons would impose on themselves, including no children under 3, no more than four children at a time and no overnight stays


unca said...

I guess the question I'd ask would be, "are there also going to be 'sighted' adults there or will be blind couple be the only staff on the premises"? I wouldn't have a problem with them "administering a day care" center but I can't imagine them running it without help from sighted aides.

blogball said...

Unca, I thought the same thing but as I viewed other reports and articles it seemed to me that they were the only ones that are planning to “watch” the kids.
See part of another report below

Specialized equipment in their home affords the couple independent living, and additional safety equipment was installed before they pursued a license. “There were restrictions that we put in place to minimize concerns,” Thomas Hutchinson said. He deems the ruling a small victory but wonders how the state’s resistance to grant he and his wife a license might affect potential clients’ decision to entrust children in their care. “How are parents going to view our case after they see it and hear about it?” he said. “Parents are going to be apprehensive. ”But the point remains that the state recognize their ability to care for children in their home and give parents a choice to put their children in their care, he said. “The principle of it is ... if we can’t watch children, what are they going to say when we ... decide to have one?”

bryan torre said...

I"m not going to be reluctant to leave my kids there because the state didn't want to give them a permit. I'm going to be reluctant to leave my kids there because THE CARETAKERS ARE BLIND.

Good grief.

The fact that the state won't prevent them from having their own kids is a separate question and completely irrelevant.

unca said...

I'm going to be reluctant to leave my kids there because THE CARETAKERS ARE BLIND
--well, yeah, I guess there is that.