Mt. Pleasant School District, in Michigan, was accused of discriminating against a diabetic student in violation of Title II of the ADA. While private schools are subject to Title III of the ADA, the requirements to reasonably modify policies and procedures for students requiring assistance with diabetes care are the same as under Title II. The modifications in policies, practices or procedures must be made unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the school's service, program, or activity.
In this settlement, it is not ever stated what the school district did or did not do to violate the ADA. However, the terms of settlement are clear that the District, moving forward, must make reasonable accommodations such as: (1) having personnel supervise, monitor and assist students with diabetes care, including glucose monitoring tests, and administering insulin via pumps or injection; (2) supervising or monitoring consumption of food and beverages; (3) allowing diabetic students to carry and use supplies and medications during the school day, and during trips, and activities; (4) permitting students to eat, drink, and use the restroom as needed throughout the school day and on all school trips and activities; and (5) allowing these modifications whether on the school campus or off campus.
The school district was also required to train its staff based on the curriculum provided by the CDC and the American Diabetes Association regarding diabetes care at school. The training was at a general level for all school personnel, but a more specific and detailed level for those staff having direct supervision of diabetic students. The District also had to keep a record of all employees who were trained on this subject and the type of training they received.
The full text of the settlement is available at http://www.ada.gov/mt_pleasant_sa.html.
Even though the settlement does not identify what the District did wrong, the list of detailed accommodations that the DOJ considers "reasonable" is a helpful look into how an accommodations request by a diabetic student might be analyzed. Particularly interesting is the requirement to keep records of all employees who were trained and what training they received. If faced with making accommodations for a student with diabetes, or another chronic health condition requiring supervision, schools should keep records not only of the interactive process and discussion over accommodations, but also how the school handled the implementation of those accommodations, including the training that relevant employees may have received on the matter.