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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

In Your Corner

Networks of lawyers and health professionals volunteering their time

Trying to find a job can be stressful enough, but what about when a potential employer says "No one with diabetes need apply"? Over the years, people with diabetes have been shut out or denied access to care at school, at work, in correctional institutions, and in places of public accommodation—like concert venues and public transportation. Fortunately, people with diabetes are now better armed to combat discrimination, thanks to the efforts of attorneys and diabetes health care professionals who have offered their services to educate, negotiate, and—when necessary—litigate and legislate to end discrimination against people with diabetes. But the struggle continues—and the American Diabetes Association needs more of these dedicated professionals to join the fight for fairness.

Together, the over 900 members of the ADA Advocacy Attorney Network and the ADA Health Care Professionals Legal Advocacy Network have racked up scores of victories for people with diabetes. Thanks to these passionate advocates, people with diabetes who want to be truck drivers, law enforcement officers, or fire fighters now have the right to be evaluated based on how diabetes affects them in particular. Network members collaborate to develop educational materials, win lawsuits, and change state laws that stand in the way of safety and equality for students with diabetes as part of ADA's Safe at School Campaign. And they have worked together to develop standards of care, model policies, and training materials for jails and prisons in response to people with diabetes being denied access to even the most basic medical care.

Yet, while great progress has been made, much more remains to be done. Just ask the hundreds of people with diabetes who call ADA each month seeking help on discrimination matters.

To learn more about the advocacy networks and how you can get involved, contact Steve Bieringer, ADA's director of Legal Advocacy Major Projects, at sbieringer@diabetes.org. If you are experiencing discrimination based on diabetes and need help, call 1-800-DIABETES.

 
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