By Jon Chown, Courthouse News Service
The Diabetes Association and the mother of 6-year-old M. W. say in the federal lawsuit (pdf) that the Army refuses to give the girl access to daycare services, summer camp and sports programs at the Presidio of Monterey because she has diabetes and staff are prohibited from helping her if she is in need.
The mother, Hope W., says her daughter has to leave the program after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes because the Army forbids its co-defendant U.S. Army Child, Youth and School Services employees from “assisting with blood glucose monitoring and administering insulin, or even providing a rescue medication called glucagon in an emergency.”
The mother says this violates the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (pdf), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federal programs. The Army’s blanket policy denies “children with diabetes the opportunity to participate in and to benefit from the programs and activities that CYSS offers,” the mother and daughter say.
The American Diabetes Association has been working with Army to change its policy since 2010, according to the lawsuit, which says numerous families across the nation are affected.
“The U.S. Army’s policy is discriminatory and completely out of step with current practices relating to caring for children with diabetes,” American Diabetes Association CEO Kevin Hagan said in a statement. “Daycares, summer camps, and before- and after-school programs across the country welcome children with diabetes and give them the support they need to participate on an equal basis. It is especially important that the Army overhaul this policy because so many military families have …