Back in October we sent you the inaugural edition of Diabetes Docket, a new electronic newsletter featuring news and information from our Legal Advocacy department. We sent it to you because we thought you might be interested in learning more about diabetes discrimination and what the American Diabetes Association is doing to put an end to it. We’re sending you the second issue to whet your appetite and hope you’ll consider subscribing. We don’t plan to send you future issues unless you sign up to receive them by clicking on the button below.
Picture it: You’re a police officer, and you’ve just pulled over a man for driving erratically. The driver is slurring his words, irritable, sweating and pale. When you ask him to step out of the car, he staggers. Is he intoxicated? Or is he a person with diabetes who’s having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)? Many of the signs of hypoglycemia are similar to signs of someone who is drunk or on illegal drugs. People with diabetes and their friends and family may know how to recognize low blood glucose, but do the police?
Throughout the country, the Association’s volunteers are working with first responders in their local communities to make sure police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are trained on how to spot and care for diabetes. Read more about our efforts in Diabetes Forecast, download a free diabetes alert card, or order a package of 25 pre-printed cards (just pay shipping).
We’ve reached more than 400 first responder agencies so far, but we need your help to reach out to more! If you would like to join us, please email LegalAdvocate@diabetes.org. Working together, we can make our communities safer for everyone.
New and Noteworthy
Department of Justice Issues Strong Statement on Rights of Students with Diabetes
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently concluded a comprehensive statewide investigation of several Alabama school districts and state agencies, and determined that the state and its districts discriminate against students with diabetes, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. DOJ found that Alabama students are denied an equal right to participate in their local, zoned school in two primary ways. First, the state prohibits anyone but a nurse from providing diabetes care to students, despite a nurse shortage. Second, the state expressly encourages the segregation of students with diabetes by sending them to schools with a full time school nurse.
DOJ’s Letter of Findings is very important for Alabama families, but it also has some application to students with diabetes outside Alabama. The Letter doesn’t require other states to take immediate action, but it does contain legal interpretation of federal law and conclusions about how schools provide services for students with diabetes that apply to all states. The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to all public and private non-religious schools, so the DOJ’s discussion of the law should be a guide for schools as to what the law requires, regardless of the state. Curious how you can use this Letter to advocate for your own child? Contact us to talk to a legal advocate about your child’s legal rights at school.
Your Child’s Right to Diabetes Care in the Child Care Setting
Parents and guardians of young children with diabetes are often challenged with finding a child care program knowledgeable about diabetes and willing to care for their child. Fortunately, there are legal protections to ensure access and medical safety of children with diabetes in child care programs.
The Association has new resources to help families overcome these challenges. A new brochure is available to help you understand your child’s rights at daycare and other child care programs. In this brochure you’ll learn how to make sure your child gets the care he or she needs, such as having trained employees available to administer insulin and recognize and treat hypoglycemia. Another new tool is the sample Child Care Diabetes Medical Management Plan (CCDMMP). Your child’s health care provider can use this sample plan to spell out how your child’s diabetes needs should be met in the child care setting.
Thinking about using insulin to treat type 2 diabetes? Do you wonder if having type 1 diabetes means you can’t drive trucks? Commercial drivers should know that insulin use can affect their commercial driver’s license. But if you do not have frequent low blood glucose or other complications, you should be allowed to drive. With planning ahead of time, you can protect your license, and keep your job.
Diabetes care, including insulin use, does not need to hurt your driving career. Click the link to learn more about how insulin matters for Commercial Drivers with Diabetes.
How to Get Help
Everyone who has diabetes deserves to be treated fairly at work, at school and in other parts of daily life. But that does not always happen. Sometimes people who have diabetes are treated unfairly—just because of diabetes.
If something doesn’t feel right, it might not be legal. There are federal laws that protect against diabetes discrimination. Call us at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) for help.
Have you or someone you know been discriminated against because of diabetes? The American Diabetes Association offers free resources to help ensure you receive the fair treatment you deserve. Call the Association's legal advocates today at 1-800-DIABETES or visit www.diabetes.org/gethelp.
Become a Diabetes Advocate
Become a Diabetes Advocate! Sign up at www.diabetes.org/takeaction to get information on how you can take action to Stop Diabetes. Together, we tell our elected leaders diabetes is a growing epidemic they cannot ignore.
The American Diabetes Association's Legal Advocacy activities are supported by a grant from Novo Nordisk.