Equal Access to Education for Children with Diabetes
Diabetes is recognized as a disability under federal law in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Students with diabetes must have access to the resources they need at school for safe and consistent diabetes management. Schools are required to work with the student’s family to develop a written plan that addresses the immediate safety and long-term health for students with diabetes.
Schools must educate personnel on diabetes management, provide the necessary resources, and train and designate school personnel to assist students with diabetes care and provide assistance during an emergency.
Providing the Necessary Resources
Schools are required to take the appropriate steps to ensure that students with diabetes are fully supported at school. Arrangements must be made to create an environment where students with diabetes have the resources and assistance they need to stay healthy and participate in the same school activities as other students.
Trained and designated nonmedical personnel must be available to help students maintain a safe insulin level. This includes younger students who require direct assistance and older elementary school students, middle school students, and high school students who are better able to manage their diabetes care.
Nonmedical school personnel must be trained and supervised to safely provide diabetes care in a school setting. This may include:
- Health aides
- Physical education personnel
- School secretaries
- School psychologists
- Guidance counselors
- Food services personnel
- Other school personnel
Providing a Diabetes Medical Management Plan
To best serve students with diabetes, schools should work with families to create a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP). This plan will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual student. Teachers, parents, administrators, district officials, and school personnel who work with the student will be involved in developing the DMMP, which should include:
- A plan for maintaining the student’s blood glucose level
- A list of necessaries supplies
- Instructions on where necessary supplies will be kept
- Unlimited student access to water and restroom breaks
- Provisions for ensuring necessary meals and snacks
- A list of trained diabetes care personnel
- A physical activity plan
- Physical monitoring plan
- Monitoring and treatment for ketones
- Access to blood glucose monitoring and insulin delivery devices
- A list of tasks performed by diabetes care personnel
What Is a Section 504 Plan?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. A 504 Plan designates a set of actions that the school will take to ensure that a child with diabetes:
- Is medically safe
- Is not restricted from school activities
- Has equal access to education
- Is treated fairly
Is Your Child with Diabetes Getting the Services They Need?
Parents of children with diabetes have the right to request a written plan that spells out how the school will provide services to ensure equal access to education. If your child isn’t receiving the support they require, contact Woodsmall Law Group right away.
We serve children with special needs and their parents in Los Angeles County, focusing on the San Gabriel Valley. We have been helping families make the most out of their educational opportunities for over 18 years.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s placement or the services they are receiving, please call (626) 440-0028 to schedule a FREE initial consultation. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and Spanish.