Islets of Hope  Is diabetes a disability?

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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)

Using this three prong test, 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).


diabetes legal information education and daycare facility laws

Diabetes and Civil Rights Laws


What is the "three prong test?"

The "three prongs" used to define a disability simply means "three criteria."  Any one, some, or all of these three "prongs" can be used to determine if a person has a disability that may be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act.

Both the ADA and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which was further clarified in The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1974) define a person with a disability (using the three prong test) as:

 â€œanyone who:

        (i)  has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major
              life activities,

       (ii)  has a record of such an impairment, or

      (iii)  is regarded as having such an impairment."


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Page Updated 08/15/2007