While we would like to believe the world is perfect, some of us may experience discrimination due to having diabetes. It is not limited to the workplace, but can even affect the care your child receives when in school, social security benefits, or even in public where they do not accommodate properly for your needs. It’s important to know what your rights are, and what help you are entitled to receive due to this.
We have listed the most important resources that you can use to help you with any discrimination issues that you may encounter.
Official Federal Legislation Information
- US. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The U.S. EEOC enforces federal legislation against the illegal activity of discrimination against an employee or a job applicant because of different factors such as race, color, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), religion, national background, age, disability status, or genetic-related status. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disability from being treated unfairly in the workplace environment. For more information on the details of the Act and your rights as an individual with Diabetes, please click on the link here. (Please note that every state has its own anti-discrimination regulations and agencies. Some state’s laws provide more protection than other states’ laws and the federal law).
- Individuals With Disability Education Act (IDEA)
A set of U.S. federal law that ensures services be provided to children with disabilities throughout the country. Under these regulations, children with Diabetes have the right to fully participate in all school activities and the school must meet their medical needs. For more information on the specific rights of children with Diabetes in school settings, please click on this link.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act. This website offers all information concerning the ADA regulations, complaints, and lawsuits of individuals being treated unfairly due to their disabilities.
- Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)
This set of law amends the ADA act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide protection to a broader spectrum of individuals with disabilities. Individuals with Diabetes are under the protection under ADAAA under Sec.4 (2) as diabetes is classified as a disease that affects the endocrine functions of individuals and such disease affects the affected individuals from certain major life activities. These laws apply in almost all places such as schools, workplace, daycare centers, restaurants, shopping malls, concert venues, correctional facilities, swimming pools, and public transportations.
- The Fair Housing Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This Act protects diabetic individuals from being discriminated by landlords based on their disabilities. To download a pamphlet on the Fair Housing Act, please click on this link.
- gov is a government website that focuses on disabled individuals of the United States. Here you can find all federal legislation related to the welfare and rights of individuals with disabilities. Here you can find the documents to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (also referred to as Rehab Act) established to protect individuals from discrimination.
- If you wish to find the exact law documents concerning different acts, you may also find them at the United States Department of Justice website. You may also find where you can to file a complaint by using this discrimination complaint directory.
- American Diabetes Association – Always champion for the rights of Diabetes patients, the American Diabetes Association has a legal advocacy program to fight for your rights and educate the public more about diabetes. If you believe you have been discriminated because you are an individual with diabetes, you may seek assistance by calling their hotline number 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or use their online chat service.
Workplace Diabetes Discrimination Resources
- United States Department of Labor is a federal department that handles wage and hour standards of employees, unemployment insurance benefits, occupational safety, employee rights and benefits, and reemployment services.
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – A free platform for employers to better understand about disability employment issues and accommodations required for disability employees in the workplace environment.
- Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe – This law firm has written a great article on diabetes employment discrimination in New York. Although you may not be residing in the New York state, this article offer you with professional advice on what can be done with your current situation and how you should proceed with your complaint.
- The Diabetes Council – Our website offers many answers to employment and occupation discrimination information. Here are a list of topics that may interest you:
- Diabetes and Employment Discrimination
- Can You Drive a Bus If You Have Diabetes?
- Everything You Need to Know About Being An Athlete with Diabetes
- Can You Be A Flight Attendant If You Have Diabetes
- Can You Work If You Have Diabetes?
- Can You Be A Pilot with Diabetes?
- Can You Be A Firefighter If You Have Diabetes?
- Can You Be An EMT/Paramedic with Diabetes?
- Can You Be An Air Traffic Controller If You Have Diabetes?
- Can You Join the Police Force If You Have Diabetes?
School Diabetes Discrimination
- Legal Rights of Students with Diabetes – This booklet by the American Diabetes Association is a must-have for all parents with diabetic children. It includes many useful information about managing a child’s diabetes symptoms along with all the laws and regulations concerning your child’s rights as a student with diabetes.
- The Comprehensive Guide to Dorn and Campus Life with Diabetes – An article written by Elisabeth Almekinder RN, BA, CDE on Diabetes Council.
- National Disability Rights Network – Here you can find information on your home state’s laws and regulations concerning students with disabilities. You can also find information on how to seek help on filing a complaint against a school system.
- Center for Parent Information and Resources – As a parent of a child with diabetes, you can find information concerning your child’s right as a student in your school system and community facilities. If you believe that your child has been treated unfairly and discriminated based on his/her diabetes needs, you can click on this link to seek help for failing a complaint.
- Although the Fair Housing Act is enacted as a federal law, each state has its own agencies and extra regulations on the rights of disabled individuals. For more detailed information concerning your rights as a renter with disability in your home state, please refer to this link.
- Housing Discrimination Brochure – This is a must-read for all diabetic renters so that you can understand your rights as a disabled individual.
- If you believe that you have been discriminated by your landlord or the management company, you may report the incidence by filing an online complaint to the S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or by phone at (800)669-9777. You may also file a complaint at your local state HUD office. You can find your state’s regional office by clicking on this link.
Service Animal Discrimination:
- The section on Service Animals in the ADA Act. To avoid unnecessary dispute, always bring along a copy for this document when you travel anywhere with your service animal for referral purpose.
- The section on Service Animals in the Fair Housing Act. To avoid unnecessary dispute with your landlord, always bring a along a copy for this document when you fill out a rental application or rental agreement form. If you believe that you and your service animal are being discriminated by your landlord or management company, you may call the Housing Discrimination Hotline at (800)669-9777 for more information on how to file a complaint.
Driver’s Licenses and Transportation Related Discrimination:
- Driver License & Car Insurance Information for Diabetes – An article written on what diabetic individuals may face when they apply for a driver license.
- Commerical Truck Driving and Diabetes: Everything You Need to Know – An article that talks about various laws that may discriminate truck drivers with diabetes from working as a commercial truck driver.
- Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
The United States Department of Transportation reinforces the Air Carrier Access Act and implements a specifically written set of regulations regarding the standard of services that air carriers must provide to individuals with disabilities. Laws concerning service animals can be found at this link.
- Travelers with Disabilities – An information article provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on travelers with specific needs.
Websites, Blogs, Forums, and Useful Resources
- The American Diabetes Association has a series of webinars on various topics on discrimination issues. You may also download a copy of the webinar transcript if you have limited bandwidth. To access the list of webinars, please click on this link.
- Diabetes Sisters – This is a wonderful website that offers a platform for all female diabetics to share their stories about their daily life, their struggles, and their experiences with discrimination. At the same time, they hold podcasts to teach female diabetic on how to be more self-confident and how to deal with negotiations and rejections based on their disabilities. To access the webinar information, please click on this link.
- Insulin in Nation – A website that offers studies of workplace discrimination cases to provide tips on how to handle the situations as a diabetic employee.
- Diabetes Hands Foundation – A foundation that advocates in championing for diabetics’ rights and to educate individuals to advocate for their own rights in any public settings. Here you can read various blog entries from members of the foundation on their experience with discrimination.
- Six Until Me – A personal blog from Kerri Morrone Sparling on her daily struggles as a Type 1 diabetes patient. She talks about everything from her young childhood experience as an individual with Type 1 diabetes to daily discrimination experiences (both unintentional and intentional) to horrible experiences with the TSA agents at the airport.
- Diabetes Stops Here – This is a platform for all diabetic individuals to share their stories and support for each other. Here you can find entries by members sharing their experiences with discrimination and tips on how they overcome the obstacles to fight for their rights.
- JDRF TypeOneNation – A platform for all diabetic individuals to offer support for each other. Here you can find blogs and forums on the experiences of discrimination scenarios.
Contact Information on Discrimination Complaint Assistance
- ADA (Section 508) Complaint Division
- Educational discrimination
877-292-3804 or 202 514-4092
- Employment discrimination
Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Housing discrimination
- Armed Foces Legal Assistance