Islets of Hope  Is diabetes a disability?  What civil rights laws protect diabetics?

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Written by Lahle Wolfe

Source:  Publication PA-04-2006; Revised 12/06; Published by Islets of Hope, Diabetes and civil rights law: "An overview of your legal right to equal access to programs, benefits, opportunity, accommodations, education, and employment"  Read full publication (.pdf)

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In October of 2005 a class-action lawsuit was filed by four families in Northern California against California schools aserting that children with diabetes were protected under federal (and state) disability laws. In August 2007, California courts rendered a landmark decision by legally establishing that children with diabetes were disabled according to both state and federal legal definitions and therefore, have protected rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1973 as well as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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Diabetes and Civil Rights Laws
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
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What is The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s disability, which may include diabetes, in private employment, State and local government, the United States Congress, public accommodations, commercial facilities including restaurants, transportation, and telecommunications.

In addition to the ADA most states also have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of a person’s disability.  Some state laws apply to smaller employers than the ADA (the ADA laws apply to employers with 15 or more employees) as well as offer other protections in addition to those available under the ADA.

The ADA uses a three prong test to help determine if a person has a disability.  There are other considerations, but in most cases, persons with type 1 diabetes will qualify as having a disability.

Specific information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

   

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Page Updated 08/15/2007