Disability Law Amendment May Benefit People with Diabetes

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In a move that the American Diabetes Association is calling "a historic victory," President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act into law on September 25. This amendment to the original 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act is meant to restore its broad protection of people from unfair treatment because of their disabilities—which can include diabetes.

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, decisions made by the Supreme Court have narrowed its reach, declaring people with partial physical disabilities or conditions that can be treated with drugs or medical devices to be beyond the antidiscrimination protection of the act. But this new amendment will restore protection to people who use medicine, prosthetics, or technological devices to help control their conditions. It will also protect workers whose employers discriminate against them because they believe that the worker has a disability, regardless of whether the worker is actually disabled.

In a statement, the American Diabetes Association’s Chair of the Board, R. Stewart Perry, said, “This is a historic victory for Americans with chronic illnesses like diabetes, who will once again be covered by this law, and is a triumph for all individuals with disabilities who want to work and will now be able to fulfill their potential.” You can read the American Diabetes Association’s full press release here.

Have you ever faced discrimination because of your diabetes? Do you consider your diabetes to be a disability? Share your thoughts on these issues with a comment below.

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