Is diabetes considered a disability?

Isn’t type 1 diabetes considered a disability under the “Americans with Disabilities Act?” Because my college will not acknowledge my diabetes as such. I told the student life department about my condition and somehow my diabetes was unknown to most the faculty. They also tried to tell me I couldn’t to blood tests or administer shots in the classroom, but had to go out into the hall. Wouldn’t that be much more disruptive than doing these things discreetly under the desk? Furthermore, my college refused to help me in any way to fulfill my dietary needs, even though they’d promised this service before I’d applied.

I feel gypped and discriminated against. Are there legal actions I can take?

I am sorry your college isn’t acknowledge diabetes as a disabilty. Click here, it will take you to all of our forums about diabetes and disability.
You should also conact the student board and research the laws in your area.


When it comes to diabetes, I believe the Americans W/disabilities Act only applies to blanant discrimination.(i.e) being refused acceptance or entry to the college because of your diabetes and employers only have to make “reasonable” accommodations at their own discretion. When I was in college, it was OUR responsibility to fill out papers and notify each professor of our needs which they usually had no problem with…One professor may prefer you leave a class while another may not want the disruption.

I honestly don’t see the problem of checking before you enter the classroom and giving any necessary correction …or even checking discreetly at your seat/desk…no one would probably notice, even the “student life department”, if you don’t make an issue out of it . Don’t long classes usually provide a 10 or 15 min break? You make it sound like you will need to inject during every class… I’d be more worried about hypos. Personally I’d take care of the diabetes in class until someone complains…and if the college tried to punish you or kick you out for trying to manage then it seems there would be a discrimination issue.
What exactly do you want the school to do for your dietary needs? Most cafeterias provide plenty of selections for you to make independent choices and as long as they do that where is the discrimination?

If you want to know about legal recourse perhaps you could contact the ADA…Here is good place to start.

What a horrible college, maybe you’d be better going somewhere else ( joke). I don’t see anything wrong with doing bl. tests or taking insulin in class, most people are ok with this. Have you got it in writing that they’d help you with your dietary needs ? What kinda help did you want ? I dunno anything about what legal actions you can take, but someone here will.

Back in 1958 the State of Nebraska provided money for continuing education specifically based upon my type 1.

Dear Demonicyouth,
Are you new to this college? Going into it in fall? They’ve accepted you?
Frankly, no one’s going to notice you do anything unless you sit in the front row. Or unless you curl down to the floor in a hypo plop.
WHY would you shoot up in class, anyway? If you’re on a pump, you handle it as you always do.
Have your tester with you. Correct if needed BEFORE class. Have your snack BETWEEN classes. For lows, have with glucose tablets (know how many to take for your weight) or a measured 1/4 cup of white grape juice, yum in a screwtop, 9 grams. Your class schedule will enable you to figure out what you do WHEN on a given day.
If you have to race across a mile wide campus to get to class at a time when you go low, turn off your pump for a bit. You know the program.
College cafeterias provide food from which you can choose the number carbs YOU want. You’re the one who will be choosing and the one who will bolus. You WANT this experience. You’ll learn from it. They have no other obligation. It’s nice if they’d tell how much equals 15 grams, or if it’s fat free, but it doesn’t happen. You’ll keep a record and know to eat less of certain entrees.
I’d suggest you get your highs and lows into control BEFORE college so that you can feel easy with it. You want your major profs to be able to write you GLOWING recommendations after they get to know you. And that will happen after seeing that you have your diabetes well under control without a whole lot of fuss.
You don’t want a college telling you exactly how to live. The fact of making choices for yourself is an important college-time action.
The college will ask for records from your doctor for its infirmary. But YOU will be the expert in pumping, exercise and its effects, going to bed on time, and GETTING GRADES.
No, the nurse at the infirmary won’t be expert in your pump. She’ll phone 911 or whatever you have in Canada, if your roommates phone her saying you’re out on the floor in the dorm.
Best wishes on choosing the college - and most of all - on choosing well for yourself. You won’t need disability provisions unless you have a whole slew of complications that call for other problems to be resolved.
Gramma who’s been there a whole lot.

It is absolutely covered under the ADA. And there is no reason to make you leave the classroom to check your blood glucose or perform insulin injections, unless you are incapable of doing those things without disrupting the class.

You could get a lawyer, or you could make them pull you out of class in front of everyone for taking care of your diabetes. I personally would go for the latter, as it would no doubt become a major embarrassment for them and hopefully make them change their tune so that all Type 1s at your school would receive fair treatment going forward. But that is just the type of person I am, so take my opinion with that in mind.

What school is this?

For a Type 1, you seem rather ignorant of the fact that we cannot always choose when we need to inject insulin or correct a hypoglycemic episode. Some college courses meet once a week for three hours- what is he supposed to do in that instance? Wait ninety minutes for the break to address his health issues? Not check his blood glucose at all, even if the class is right after a meal?

I also think telling someone to turn off their pump is a bad idea. Non-diabetics never go without insulin even during bouts of heavy exercise. Sure, set a temp basal down to ten or twenty percent for half an hour or whatever, but no insulin is toying with DKA and hyperglycemia, especially when all you have going is rapid-acting insulin analogs.

Dear oneless, Good point!
Dear Demonicyouth,
Go to the pumping group here and look at all the ways they handle running and cycling so they keep their blood glucose even. Better yet, before you go off to college do a few 10 minute sprints and learn your pattern/what you need to do to prevent lows afterwards over the following few hours.
Another option, of course, is to take the campus bus and avoid the low entirely!
And don’t worry about 3 hour classes - there’s always a break or the prof tells folks what he prefers! You’ll get it right!

Thank you everyone who replied! I only recently switched to the pump, and it has made class time so much easier. I don’t need to do shots in class anymore, but I still have problems with lows during class. I test during class anyway. If someone complains about that, I’d like them to try and stop me from treating a low! :slight_smile: This is my second year at college, so I’ve learned some tricks to get around the administration. :wink:

As for “dietary needs,” I’m on a low carb and organic-when-i-can-get-it diet. The cafeteria boasts a wide selection of food, but nearly everything is breaded and fried, or has a load of sugar in it. True, they offer a salad bar, but who can live on salad 3 times a day, every day? That’s what I did for my first year here, and I became 5 pounds underweight. My college also promised to stock organic food, and have since refused to do so. This college is in the middle of nowhere, so good food stores are 2+ hours away. Right now, I’m doing a lot of internet food orders and taking a lot of vitamin supplements! :slight_smile: I also found a local farmer in my area to provide me with meat and eggs. I wish I got credit for all the dietary planning I do. I’m more knowledgeable than my own dietitian at this point! :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, I never got any kind of agreement in writing from my school for the kind of food they’d provide me.