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Illinois Institute of Technology Center for Diabetes Research and Policy

Children with diabetes

The Health & Disability Legal Clinic is actively involved in advising and representing families with school-age children who have diabetes. Professor Ed Kraus, an experienced disability rights and public benefits attorney, and Sarah Blenner, an attorney at Chicago-Kent College of Law, participate in negotiations between school boards and parents in an effort to ensure that appropriate accommodations and services are in place so that a student with diabetes is safe and fully able to participate in and benefit from school. As part of this process, Professor Ed Kraus, Sarah Blenner, and trained Chicago-Kent law students help families develop individual, written plans that will ensure their child’s safety and appropriate educational experience (called “Section 504 plans”), attend meetings with school district personnel about how to develop and implement these plans, provide legal and factual information to school districts and their legal counsel about the rights of children with diabetes, and, when necessary, represent families in litigation against the school district at administrative hearings or in civil court.

After years of hard work by faculty, staff, and students of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, community leaders, and the American Diabetes Association, the Care of Students with Diabetes Act became law on December 1, 2010.  Since then, Ed Kraus and Sarah Blenner have been working on ushering in this new law and raising awareness.  In the face of criticism and novel legal questions, the Health & Disability Legal Clinic has fielded many calls, drafted letters, answered questions, and weighed in on behalf of families caught in the middle of the political and bureaucratic landscape.  Ed Kraus and Sarah Blenner are working with and reaching out to influential individuals, including legislators, the Illinois State Board of Education, local school boards, the American Diabetes Association, and community leaders about systemic approaches to ensure implementation throughout the state. 

On several occasions, the Health & Disability Legal Clinic helped the American Diabetes Association draft Amicus Briefs for appellate level cases that involve an issue of diabetes-related discrimination in the school setting.  Additionally, the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent College of Law works closely with the American Diabetes Association to help educate parents and other diabetes advocates about the rights of students with diabetes and other legal issues surrounding diabetes care in schools.  

Related Links:

American Diabetes Association, “Model 504 Plan.”

American Diabetes Association, “Diabetes Care in the School and Day Care Setting,” 32 Diabetes Care S68 (Suppl. Jan. 2009).

Illinois Care of Students with Diabetes Act, 105 ILCS 145/1 et seq. (2010).

National Institutes of Health, “Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed, A Guide for School Personnel” (2010).

U.S. Department of Education, “Frequently Asked Questions about Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities” (2011).
Illinois Institute of Technology