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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prayers Please

My husband has a rare genetic retinal dystrophy called Stargardt’s disease. Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy begins to damage both eyes somewhere between the ages of 6 and 20. Individuals with this disease first notice gray-black or hazy spots in the center of their vision. This disease is degenerative and the vision loss is progressive. His drivers license came up for renewal with his last Birthday. Unfortunately, he was put on a restrictive licence due to his vision.  He has difficultly seeing at a distance. Which means he is perfectly capable of doing his job as all his work is up close.

Jason created a mock up of what he sees when driving.

What normal people see

What Jason sees
Pretty obvious why he has a restricted driver's licence
Jason is the Web Designer and Administrator at Campbell University and is perfectly capable of doing his job from home. His Doctor wrote a letter to the University requesting that he be allowed to work from home as not to put his life in danger. We were very hopeful that he would be granted his request. During my maternity leave, Jason stayed home for two weeks and then one week as half days. The entire time he was home he updated and maintained all website content from home. He has been employed with Campbell for five years and has always gotten outstanding yearly evaluations. I also graduated from Campbell University Divinity School and worked in the Divinity School Admissions department before enrolling in the School of Education to become an Elementary School Teacher. Needless to say, we have a long history with the school and consider ourselves well invested.

Sadly, my husband was told his only option was to work at Campbell in his office. The reason given was that "the University doesn't want to set the precedent of employees working from home." This was very discouraging to us as we hoped a Christian University that states "faith, learning and service excel here" would have more compassion for a visually impaired employee.  We submitted a second letter asking them to reconsider letting Jason work from home as an ADA (Americans with Disability Act) accommodation.  He has all the resources needed to work from home and it would not cause the University undue hardship.  He was denied again, but given a flexible work schedule in terms of his arrival and leaving times. 

We ask all our friends and family to join us as we continue to pray that a opportunity would open for Jason to work from home.  He loves his job and is a hard worker.  We have a beautiful daughter who loves her Daddy.  We hope that Campbell will have a change of heart and show compassion for their employee who has shown nothing but dedication and professionalism in his five years of employment.


  1. Praying all will work out for you all. If I hear anything about jobs which allowing working from home in his field I will let you all know.

  2. You know, when I was in undergrad we had a guy who had to walk with the assistance of "stilts" in each arm as his leg function provided only limited stability and low mobility. He petitioned as a student that campbell make the auditorium where CEP (Required Cultural Enrichment Program) was held years back, handicap accessible. If I'm not mistaken, he even hired a lawyer and threatened suit. He still was required to get those credits and thus struggle into a building with no ramp. I remember that a bunch of us in my dorm were peeved @ Campbell for this. I think he ended up transferring.

    It seems that the institution forgets that it is working with and for people. It get's bogged down in it's bureaucracy and self-preservation that it sometimes loses sight of it's true purpose: in this case providing a positive and productive work environment. In the aforementioned case, providing the ability for all enrolled to receive equal education.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you both. I think Campbell is acting ridiculously. I am sure that there is def. a numerous amounts of compromise available in this situation. In this day and age, when we can access our office/home computers from a coffee shop through a tablet?

    Of course this is not the only time Campbell's admin. has lost sight in it's administration. I know, working as a student worker, that the prof.s and admin. were often on different pages.

    But the point you bring up is something that Campbell proudly touts to perspective students and parents: what separates them from other schools is their "faith" foundation. Yet the proof is in their actions. This is the same for all institutions of faith! Sadly, the proof we've all seen lately in several institutions seems contrary to their statements of "faith".

    I am sorry that you both are going through this. We support you through thoughts, prayers, and anything else Alison and I can do! I hope that compassion and understanding fills the hearts of those at Campbell U. and hope that they remember that for which they claim to stand... That's one of the reasons I was wooed there as a freshman... I would hope that my Alma-Mater would not tarnish my memories and respect. It is my hope that you both find the compassion that I know they are capable of!!

    Justin Bowman