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You shouldn't have to remove the shade cover. You can usually turn around backwards and look up into the opening and flip the shade latch and get it to come out. It can be tricky, but that is how we usually do it in the shop.
The screws can sometimes be covered up by the shade itself and make it hard to get out without the shade off first. It can be tough when something like that is in the way. Don's know if I have had to do one like that.
Just checking back to see if you were able to get the shade off o.k. here?