After a Florida pre-kindergarten program refused to assist a 3-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes by monitoring her glucose levels, the SPLC filed a lawsuit on behalf of the child. Reflecting a statewide problem faced by many children with diabetes, the lawsuit describes how the program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to accommodate the student’s needs.
The girl – “S.G.” – had a glucose sensor and insulin pump attached to her body to manage her sugar level. As a result of the program’s refusal to accommodate her needs, S.G.’s glucose levels were unnecessarily and consistently high during school hours, placing her at unreasonable risk of harm.
By federal law, her pre-kindergarten program in the Miami suburb of Doral was supposed to accommodate her special needs. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities open to the public, including nurseries, child care facilities and other places of education.
A settlement agreement was reached to ensure The Doral Academy Preschool takes steps to ensure it does not discriminate against children with diabetes. It included monitoring students with diabetes, assisting with blood glucose tests and taking other steps necessary to accommodate their special needs, as required by federal and state law. These steps can help prevent diabetic children from suffering harmful – possibly even fatal – complications at school.