San Francisco, California - The American Diabetes Association (Association) today joined a family in California as the organizational plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging a nationwide policy by the United States Army's Child, Youth & School Services (Army CYSS) program that continues to prevent children with diabetes from participating in Army CYSS programs.
The policy prohibits Army CYSS staff from administering insulina hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, it is taken by injection or through use of an insulin pump.X or glucagona hormone produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas. It raises blood glucose. An injectable form of glucagon, available by prescription, may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia. The opposite of insulinX and from assisting with carbohydrate countinga method of meal planning for people with diabetes based on counting the number of grams of carbohydrate in food.X, which effectively excludes all children with diabetes from access to Army CYSS programs.
The lawsuit was filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by Disability Rights Advocates on behalf of the Association and the family. The litigation asks the court to order the Army CYSS to change its current policy so that children with diabetes may participate safely in Army CYSS programs alongside their peers.
"When barriers like this Army CYSS policy prevent children and individuals with diabetes from receiving the services they need and equal access to programs that should be accessible to everyone, the Association stands up on their behalf to fight for fair treatment under the law," said Kevin L. Hagan, chief executive officer of the Association. "We are filing this lawsuit on behalf of all people with diabetes affected by this policy – both those seeking to attend Army CYSS programs now, and those who will be eligible for this benefit in the future."
The Army CYSS operates numerous childcare programs including summer camps and before- and after-school care activities on its bases around the world. Access to these programs is particularly important for Army families, as they often live on bases far from family support and other childcare options, or they may have work schedules outside of traditional childcare operating hours.
While many other private and public child care programs – including other military programs – have policies ensuring access for children with diabetes, the Army CYSS program has yet to update this discriminatory policy. This lawsuit is the latest in a series of measures the Association has taken in recent years to educate the Army CYSS about the discriminatory nature of its policy and effect change on behalf of families of children with diabetes who have been denied access to the Army CYSS programs.