Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DREDF Article - New Support for Ensuring Access to Insulin for California Students with Diabetes

This is an article from DREDF

The American Diabetes Association, represented by Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and Reed Smith LLP, has received welcome amici support in a case before the Supreme Court of California, American Nurses Association, et al. v. O'Connell, Case No. S184583. This support comes after over five years of litigation filed to protect the civil rights of California students with diabetes in California's K-12 public schools.

DREDF applauds the organizations, detailed below, that filed amicus curiae on behalf of the American Diabetes Association.

It is especially exciting that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) took the noteworthy step of weighing in on a matter that involves state law, something that the DOJ does very rarely.

Amicus Briefs from Many Fronts
On May 11 and 12, 2011, the United States Department of Justice, the California Department of Education, a group of disability rights organizations, a coalition of medical organizations involved in the treatment of diabetes, the Child Care Law Center, and the California School Boards Association filed briefs.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief expressing its belief that the federal ADA and Section 504 preempt state law, and that state law presents obstacles to compliance with the IDEA and a free appropriate public education ("FAPE"). DOJ noted that the evidence established that, because there are so few nurses available, "some students who require insulin have been deprived of their right to a FAPE."

The California Department of Education filed a brief expressing the agency's belief that state law does in fact authorize non-medical school personnel to administer insulin when a nurse is not available and that, in light of the state's chronic nursing shortage and budget crises, this is the best approach to assure students' safety.

Read more HERE.
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