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Is diabetes a disability?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Megnyc, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

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    Looking for some varied perspectives on this.....

    I am considering applying for a really competitive summer internship that would be my dream come true. The admissions process greatly favors minorities, economically disadvantaged individuals, or people with disabilities. The only category there I could possibly fit into is "people with disabilities."

    I don't know if I consider myself disabled. I lost my pancreas to cancer as a child and I don't remember life without diabetes. This is my normal. In a way it horrifies me that I am considering it but in another way I feel like I deserve to check that box.

    Any thoughts? Is diabetes even a disability in this sense? Thanks.
     
  2. mocha

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    Under the Americans with Diabilities Act, Type 1 is considered a disability because it is an autoimmune disorder. Read through the ADA and see what you think for yourself about your circumstance.
     
  3. moco89

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    Diabetes is legally considered a disability in the United States.

    However, it is generally not that disabling (as long as you do not have or develop complications) if you plan ahead, make good choices, and take care of yourself in general.
     
  4. Beach bum

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    I would read through the ADA and see what you think. You could fill out the paperwork etc and prepare yourself for the interview process (if any) and be prepared to be asked a question such as, "why do you consider your diabetes a disability? Or why do you feel you deserve this more than the other candidates?"
    But, yes, diabetes is considered a disability in the US and you are protected by the ADA. So technically, you are eligible to apply.
     
  5. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    In court decisions in the US, courts have swung back and forth over whether or not diabetes is a disability. But I don't think that's the issue, unless you are requesting accommodations. Do you request accommodations?

    If you do not identify as disabled and will not be representing disabled folk, you should not check that box.

    I used to attend a cross disabilities social group. I called and asked if I was disabled. The person answering the phone told that was my call. Was I? If I identified as such, I was welcome.
    Well, I guess I was- I felt like I belonged in a room full of disabled people.

    I have always felt a little bit like I'm on the periphery of the disability world, as a walkie-talkie (person who walks and talks). But I do identify as a disabled person.
     
  6. Beach bum

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    Good point.
     
  7. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

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    For our tax and benefit purposes, it is considered a disability because of the time requirements needed to maintain your health, not because you are not "able".
     
  8. Christopher

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    Bottom line is you have to live with your decision, regardless of if people here consider diabetes a disability. If you are comfortable using it as a disability to possibly gain an advantage over someone that does not have diabetes, then go for it. There is legal precedence (i.e.: Americans With Disabilities Act) to back you up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  9. Arleigh9003

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    What do you mean by tax purposes? You can claim disability on your taxes? Forgive me for sounding dumb.. But this exists?
     
  10. Megnyc

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    Just thought I should update this.....

    I decided I didn't feel right about checking the box. Regardless, of whether or not diabetes is a disability in the legal sense (and I agree it is) I don't consider myself disabled and would not want to use diabetes to get an advantage over another individual. Thus, I am submitting my application and hoping for the best.

    Thanks for all the input though!
     
  11. swellman

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    Regardless of whether or not this decision benefits you on your application, in my opinion, it will benefit you further on.

    Good luck either way.
     
  12. Bigbluefrog

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    ADA definition

    http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disabilities/physical/definition.htm

    The Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA) has a three-part definition of disability. Under ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; OR (2) has a record of such an impairment; OR (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

    A physical impairment is defined by ADA as "any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine."

    Neither ADA nor the regulations that implement it list all the diseases or conditions that are covered, because it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list, given the variety of possible impairments.
     
  13. Jennifer126

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    After reading this and thinking about it a while I am wondering if the box should be checked because it is considered a disability..... even if you don't consider it so? Would it somehow be considered hiding it when it comes to insurance and all that. I am only 1 week and 1 day into this so I am clueless... I am sincerely asking and not being a pest. I am also too tired and overwhelmed to research it on my own now! :p
     
  14. Megnyc

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    Hi, I don't think it is really a legal issue. I won't be covered under their health insurance (and even in this case it is my impression that this is not something I need to disclose) since I have health insurance under both my parents and my school. In terms of other insurance issues I am not really sure what you mean. They are only asking about disabilities in an attempt to favor "disadvantaged" individuals just like they ask if you are low-income.
     
  15. Bigbluefrog

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    Yes, diabetes is a disability and is acknowledged as such.

    Sorry you have been through so much!!
    Disabilities act - allows you to get accomadations that maybe needed.
    Example- testing for ACT does NOT allow any electronically devices in.
    Or food or drink! Or stop the clock option for lows.

    Or bring food and medicine in places that does not allow food.


    It is in ADA to protect you.
     
  16. deafmack

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    I applied for disability accommodations when I went to school as a Deaf person etc and it was well worth it. They provided me with Interpreters plus notetakers, etc. I would not have made it without the accommodations.
    As long as you are disabled under the American with Disabilities Act I think it is worth it to ask for accommodations. This way you can have accommodations when you are low or high and need to reschedule a test, etc. You can have the right to treat a low blood sugar when you need to, etc. I know that whether or not you want accommodations is up to you but for me it was worth it.
     
  17. deafmack

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    I also wanted to add is that when you apply for accommodations only the disability office and you know that you have applied for accommodations.
    and the teacher you are under. My teachers or professors only asked me to let them know if I needed anything and that was all. Being Deaf it wasn't like I could keep it hidden. I mean there were the ASL Interpreters present but people became use to having them there is short order. I think the same could be use to you having to check your BG,, etc. I would apply for accommodations.
     
  18. deafmack

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    Only blind people get an extra deduction on tax papers.
    I know as a person who is Deaf I certainly don't get to do that.


    I do know that when you apply for accommodations you most likely will have to have a note from your endocrinologist
    proving you have diabetes but that should be fairly straight forward. I had to have a hearing test to prove I needed accommodations.
    Having accomodations is meant to level the playing field and not to give the disabled person a lead so to speak but to
    make so the person with disabilities can keep up with what is going on. For me it was worth it, but again it is up to you if you want
    to claim your diabetes as a disability or not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  19. Mary Jayne

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    I think the poster was referring to taxes in Canada. We have a disability tax credit to be used on our taxes. Diabetes fits the criteria of a disability for our tax purposes.
     
  20. Bigbluefrog

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    It took several letters from the Endo and School counselors regarding special accommodations for the ACT test. They will allow food and drink along with her pump and testing supplies. We requested stop the clock for low blood sugar. But no extra time, just the basics.
     

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