the SOS of 300 teachers with disabilities in difficulties

Teachers with disabilities, largely forgotten by the inclusive school? 300 of them send (another) open letter to the Ministry of Education to demand the establishment of a dialogue and consideration of their needs. Rant!

“You have to think about changing jobs, you’re slowing down the service,” recommended a National Education inspector to a teacher with a disability. Slightly better on the side of the heads of establishment … “Your disability complicates the management of our structure, madam. You have to be aware of that. “ said one of them. For several years now, inclusive schooling has been at the center of our concerns. Children with disabilities and their carers (AESH) crystallize concerns and demands, some calling for more tailored and personalized schooling, others for better recognition. But what about teachers? Abandoned, discriminated against, sometimes harassed or even forced to resign … Some say they are alone and have lost hope in National Education.

Anthen, an activist association

To highlight these “forgotten by education” Florence Dumas-Castets co-created, in 2019, the National Association of Disabled Workers of National Education (Antenna). “Today, National Education is the worst student in France in terms of inclusion in the civil service,” the association insists: the employment rate for staff with disabilities is 3.5% in 2020 (source Fiphfp) while the target quota is 6% *. It should also be remembered that National Education has only been subject to the obligation to work since 2021, and has long benefited from this exemption. “We would have liked the unions to be much more concerned with the issue, but if we exist it is because they have not done so.” she explains. After three years of existence and dozens of letters to the ministry, “It’s not the shadow of an answer,” laments Anthen, who says he is in a hurry to “start a real dialogue, a collaboration.” In February 2022, the association tried its luck again with another letter … SOS from 300 teachers in difficulty.

A not so preventive medicine

Major grievances? Preventive doctors “cold” and sometimes even “non-existent”, in some academies. “For the competition, you ask for the organization of the tests with an ergonomic chair. I don’t know if it’s feasible, maybe you should take your luggage to the trunk of the car, you’ll find someone to help you get it out. ‘ answers one of them. Not to mention theirs “no response”, adds Florence. This literature teacher at a high school for twenty years, who suffers from spina bifida (a congenital malformation of the spine), obtained different work adaptations through her Recognition of the quality of the disabled worker (RQTH): ergonomic seat, surface sloping work. But at what price? The one of “long and laborious procedures”, assures (interview at the link below). According to her, “Medicine is only preventive in name.” Mainly the fault of the lack of interlocutors. In addition, occupational medicine does not exist in national education, while “Disability correspondents, present in each rectory, are appointed, without being volunteers, and we believe that they do not have much room for maneuver”, says Florence Dumas-Castets. “Many teachers who need to adapt their workstations, therefore, find themselves without a solution,” she continues, lamenting “blatant lack of will and means.”

“The only thing we have is the benevolence of the managers of the establishments,” says the professor. Mine takes into account my needs, but some refuse to implement an adapted schedule that, according to them, would risk hindering other teachers, while others do not follow the ‘recommendations’ of the prevention doctor for the reason that, as its name suggests, they are not “mandatory”. »

Part-time without compensation

After all, some teachers are forced to apply for part-time work and lose part of their salary. Also, according to Anthen, “The administration encourages disabled workers to apply for these jobs part-time, meaning that instead of finding solutions, we are asked to fund our disability.” Exhausted by this bitter battle, Florence worries about her future. “What if I can’t practice in a few years? she asks. As beneficiaries of the employment obligation, we have no reclassification guarantee if we are unfit for our position. » “Civil servant = job security? Yes, a priori … “, she jokes.

Conversion – Not easy!

Then professional retraining can be a good option. You still have to have the means … “Organized and funded entirely in other public services, competency assessment remains largely our responsibility even as we mobilize our personal training account,” witness Florence. To change public service you have to pass new competitions. “Work even harder when we’re exhausted? », she protests. However, the law and ministerial circulars provide for an increase in the possibility of people with disabilities accessing other functions through appropriate places, inside or outside the National Education system. “In theory, again …, Florence answers. But in reality, recycling cases are extremely rare. »

A forum for practical advice

So what about early retirement? “Pff, you’re talking! Florence river. In theory perhaps, but in practice it very often only applies to staff affected by a disability as soon as they enter national education, which is infrequent. » “I’m afraid I won’t be able to get that far and end my career abruptly because I’m so exhausted. » Florence is far from an isolated case. The Facebook discussion forum “Anthen: Let’s talk about disability and ALD of EN staff” is full of testimonials from professionals “desperate”feeling “subscribers”a fortiori in times of health crisis, where the “Covid is at the center of government concerns”. The challenge of this private group? Share your experience, identify difficulties, get practical advice but above all find an attentive ear because “If the feeling of not being heard is certainly common to all National Education staff, it is more so for people with disabilities.” express.

“While this desire to stop seeing a person with a disability only through the prism of their disability is commendable and necessary, we must not forget, however, that this audience has specific needs that must be taken into account. account. Failure to respond constitutes prejudice, discrimination. concludes Anthen who hopes the ministry will open the hatches … finally. Another bottle in the sea?

* Remember that the National Education published in 2020 a practical guide of forty pages dedicated to people with disabilities who want to “declare” or join this body (link below).

“All rights reserved. © This article was written by Cassandre Rogeret, journalist of”

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