YMCA branch settles discrimination claim over girl with diabetes

- A Philadelphia area YMCA reached a settlement agreement with the Justice Department over allegations it denied a girl with type 1 diabetes the opportunity to participate in after-school and summer camp programs.

The feds accused the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, Rocky Run Branch of violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations, including private camps and childcare programs.

It said, “Under the ADA, such entities must make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices or procedures when necessary to provide equal access to a child with a disability, unless a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and services.”

It added, “When a parent and a child’s physician determine that it is appropriate for a trained layperson to assist a child with diabetes care, a camp or childcare program must provide this as a reasonable modification under the ADA, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the program.”

The Justice Department accused the YMCA branch of refusing to administer glucagon if necessary, supervise the child self-administering insulin, limiting the child’s participation in the after-school program to 4pm when the program runs until 6pm, and asking the parents to supply an aide to monitor the child in the summer day camp program.

Now, it says the YMCA branch agreed to develop a sample diabetes medical management plan, train its staff on the ADA and diabetes management, and inform parents on how to request modifications for children with disabilities, among other things.

ADA enforcement is a top priority of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Click here for information on filing a complaint.

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