Looking Back posts are my effort to journal the diabetes times
that have gone before the start of this blog.
Last year Roo entered high school and I thought it would be a good idea to get a Section 504 Plan in place to protect her academically. Because Type 1 Diabetes is considered a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act we can request accommodations for her to ensure an equal education to her peers.
The following is an excerpt from the conversation with the high school counselor to request a 504 meeting :
Counselor: A 504 is not given automatically. We will evaluate Roo and how she compares to her peers and then determine if she needs a 504 and if we will "grant" her a 504 plan or add academic accommodations to her health plan.
Me: <hesitate> Well she is a good student so I don't understand what you are going to compare to her peers. uh....whaaa?
Counselor: Most likely then she won't need a 504 and we can add an academic accommodation to her health plan.
Me: <silent> Uh huh. <nod>. Wellll...I'm interested specifically in protecting her if anything should happen during placement or standardized tests and testing and treating anywhere/anytime. oh no, he doesn't know he doesn't know
Counselor: Yes, we can put that in the health plan and you won't have any problems with the teachers and if you do then come and see us and we'll take care of it.
Me: <crickets> I see. When do you do your meetings? I'm pretty sure you can't deny Roo a 504. Why must you torture me? Now I have to do this and that and type up this and make calls.
They evaluated Roo (which is the proper procedure) and a meeting was set. The high school principle, the counselor, the nurse and myself were in attendance. The counselor went over the evaluation and the results kept being she was doing fine, her learning is not being negatively affected by her disability.
Because I'm such a freaking blubbering idiot in public all I kept repeating was "but things can change quickly", "she's not negatively impacted only if her blood sugars are in range", "she is entitled to a 504". I had a folder packed full of copies of the law but I didn't dare pull it out because everything I had gone over before the meeting was jumbled in my head and surely would come out of my mouth as "ummm...daahhh...beeberbeeberbee" (finger strumming lips).
They basically already had decided to deny Roo a 504 Plan because she is not "substantially impaired" in learning. It's not about learning really and I did not agree and at least was able to make that clear. They were trying to "educate" me and I was trying to educate them (ya know, by repeating my three phrases and never referring to my resources). It was calm but heals dug in on both sides. They even made a comment about they've run into this before but I was being nice about it. I laughed. I just said "There's no point in screaming...yet."
So I had some more work to do.
TO BE CONTINUED...