Federal statutes such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, do not adequately protect students with disabilities. In fact, formal regulations to protect the health and safety of children with diabetes at schools have yet to be addressed at the federal level.The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that students in middle and high school are usually able to provide self-care depending on the length of diagnosis and level of maturity, but will always need help when experiencing severe hypoglycemia. Independence in older children should be encouraged to enable the child to make his or her decisions about his or her own care. The ADA further recommends that the school or day care provider should provide specialized training for a small group of school staff members who will perform student-specific routine and emergency care tasks such as blood glucose monitoring, insulin administration, and glucagon administration when a school nurse is not available to perform these tasks.
Every state should enact laws that include the ADA’s recommendations to ensure that students with diabetes have fair and safe access to an education without undue disruption of their diabetes treatment. The DLC is committed to advocating on the behalf of families in any state where there is a debate on adopting or repealing laws that protect students with diabetes.
The DLC appealed to the legislators of Indiana to vote “No” on bill SB500, which would repeal the Care of Students with Diabetes Act and cause unreasonable hardship on families, and put students who need immediate attention at risk. Read our full statement to Indiana Senators Kruse and Crider and our letter to Indiana Senator Kenley.