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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Diabetes and Civil Rights Laws
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Back to main Civil Rights Section
Filing a complaint under The Rehabilitation Act
To file a complaint you must contact an equal employment
opportunity counselor at the agency where the discrimination occurred within
forty-five (45) days of the discrimination.
The complaint is then investigated by the receiving
agency. The employee filing the
complaint can ask for a hearing to be conducted by an administrative law judge
from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or for a final decision
by the agency.
The employee can also appeal to the EEOC and then go to
court or can go directly to court.
Back to main Civil Rights Section
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, are have protected rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1973 as well as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
One of the specific areas established in the outcome of the lawsuit was that children with diabetes who classify as being disabled (all those with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2) are entitled under IDEA to Section 504 Plans, and for those whose diabetes affects classroom learning, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as well.
Summary of The Rehabilitation Act civil
rights coverage by Section and where to file a complaint (chart)
The following chart summarizes the different sections
under The Rehabilitation Act, what is covered, and where and how to file a
Section and coverage
|Where to file a complaint
find more information
Section 501 requires adherence to affirmative
action practices (laws aimed at establishing the same percentage of
minority group members and women at all levels of the workplaces and unions as
there are in the general population) and nondiscrimination in employment by Federal agencies of
the executive branch.
To obtain more information
or to file a complaint, employees should contact their agency's Equal
Employment Opportunity Office. For the
appropriate EEOC field office in your geographic area, contact:
(800) 669-4000 (voice)
(800) 669-6820 (TTY)
information on EEOC-enforced laws may be obtained by calling:
(800) 669-3362 (voice)
(800) 800-3302 (TTY)
Section 503 requires adherence to affirmative action
practices and prohibits employment discrimination by Federal government contractors
and subcontractors with contracts of more than $10,000.
Office of Federal Contract
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
(202) 693-0106 (voice/relay)
Section 504 mandates that
"no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded
from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any
program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is
conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.
Agencies that provide Federal financial
assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive
Federal aid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable
accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility;
accessible new construction and alterations and also covers communication
accommodates for people who have hearing or vision disabilities.
Each Federal agency is
responsible for enforcing its own Section 504 regulations. Section 504 may also
be enforced through private lawsuits. It is not necessary to file a complaint
with a Federal agency or to receive a "right-to-sue" letter before
going to court.
For information on how to
file 504 complaints with the appropriate agency, contact:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530
(800) 514-0301 (voice)
(800) 514-0383 (TTY)
Section 508 establishes requirements for
electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used
by the Federal government. It also requires Federal electronic and information
technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees
and members of the public.
Accessibility-related software or peripheral
devices in order to use systems that comply with Section 508 may or may not be
required by employers.
For more information on
section 508, contact:
General Services Administration
Center for IT Accommodation (CITA)
1800 F Street, N.W.
Room 1234, MC:MKC
Washington, DC 20405-0001
(202) 501-4906 (voice)
(202) 501-2010 (TTY)
U.S. Architectural and Transportation
Barriers Compliance Board
1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111