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Family frustrated over rejection letter from Arkansas School for the Blind



Little Rock, Arkansas – Following their son’s rejection from the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a family in Arkansas claimed they are left with many unanswered concerns.

Parker Taylor, 6, has been using the family living room as his own private classroom for the past two years.

When the pandemic first started, Parker’s parents, Cortney and Fontaine Taylor, withdrew him from the Arkansas School for the Blind. They claimed it was because they were worried about getting sick because their son had a compromised immune system.

Plans abruptly changed when it was time to re-enroll.

“That was a little confusing to us because he was already a student there,” Parker’s mother Cortney said.

The Taylors claim that the school sent them a letter of rejection. According to the district, Parker needs more classroom space and programming. Additionally, the letter claims Parker lacks “readiness for braille.”

“What do we do, braille ready? What do you mean? How do we get him braille ready?,” his father Fontaine asked.

The student handbook makes no reference to “braille readiness” as a prerequisite for enrollment.

Our group emailed the Arkansas Department of Education to get a second view. Although they were unable to comment explicitly on the Parker decision, they did send our staff this statement in response to reaffirm that braille ready was not a necessity.

“Students are referred to ASBVI by their local school districts. It’s a joint decision between the local school district, ASBVI, and the parents to determine if the school is an appropriate placement for a student. Braille readiness is not a requirement for admission to the school,” Kimberly Mundell with the Arkansas Department of Education explained.

“Now we are extremely confused, wondering why this is happening like this and why are we seeing this? Why is it so difficult for parker to get what he needs?,” said Fontaine Taylor.

The Taylors claimed they had been seeking answers for months but frequently come to a standstill.

The Department of Education consistently justifies its lack of comment by citing privacy issues, and so are we.

“The only thing we are trying to do is educate our kid, that’s it. And give him the best opportunity he can,” Fontaine Taylor said.

The Taylors promised to look into every possibility for their son’s schooling. He will be seated here in his at-home classroom till then.

The Taylors claim that after being rejected, ASB forwarded them back to the Little Rock School District for more assistance.

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