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Re: [IP] 504 plan - type protection for college students
What timing! I received a letter today from the head of the housing
where my son goes to school. I had talked to MANY people this fall,
including the RAs, to warn them that although it has never happened, he
"could" go into a coma. The letter contained veiled threats that if my
had ANY difficulties at all, he would have to move off campus because
didn't have someone on duty seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day,
to watch over your son".
katie-- aaaaargh is right-- that's insane-- if your son goes to a state-sponsored school they
*cannot* discriminate against him for housing just because he has diabetes. the office of student
affairs at william and mary (where i go to school) let me know that they can even offer me
preferential housing if i need it, in case i need to be near a dining hall or if i need to be on
the first floor because of my heart problem. i didn't have to use these because i got a suitable
room through regular housing selection, but it's good to know that it's there if i need it.
i would advise you to have your son talk to the office of student affairs or whatever they have at
his school-- this type of letter is something that the residence dept at his school is
*specifically* *not* allowed to do. your son should inform them that while he does not need 24
hour supervision and is self-managing, the RAs need to be aware that he's diabetic in case of an
emergency, know what to do in case something happens and that is ALL. they seem to have the
mistaken impression that your son needs a babysitter-- he doesn't, but the college does need to be
aware that he may have some special needs. these can include postponement of exams in case of a
health problem (i've had to do this three times), letters to or mediation with professors in case
an assignment or class has to be missed (had to use that twice), permission to have an air
conditioning unit if the dorm's not AC'd (have had AC all four years because of this, in humid,
blazing southeastern VA), and much more.
please email me if you have any questions regarding this; the university (if a school that
receives any public money whatsoever) has an obligation to not discriminate against your son
simply because of his diabetes. for future reference, if you have concerns about his health, it is
better to alert the student health center, office for student disability services, office for
student affairs, and residence life office than to merely warn the RAs. you may have freaked a
couple of them out, and they might have given a negative impression to the housing dept. head
simply because they're scared (via ignorance) to have a liability on their hall. they're just
students, after all, and they have a lot to deal with as RAs anyway. it would also be better for
your son to deal with these administrative offices directly than for you to do it; it lets them
know that he is a responsible person and can manage his own diabetes and affairs effectively.
i wish you both the best of luck in dealing with this.
becky =) (dx'd 1/24/92 at age 10, pumping since 11/21/01)
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