Advocacy Accomplishments – 2013 Highlights
Expanded Success in the Safe at School Campaign
- Through legislative victories in Arizona and Missouri and a unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court, three more states meet the key tenets of our Safe at School campaign by providing access to insulin and glucagon and appropriate diabetes self-management. The California Supreme Court decision generated more than 250 million media impressions that were overwhelming positive for the Association's position.
- A back to school promotional campaign included social media, website promotion, fundraising efforts, a petition drive, a cover story on Diabetes Forecast, and a radio media tour in English and Spanish reaching 12.8 million listeners.
- In response to complaints filed by the Association and families regarding segregating students with diabetes and other failures to provide adequate care at school, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Letter of Finding holding Alabama and several school districts in violation of federal law and ordering extensive changes. Other efforts to combat school segregation included filing a DOJ complaint in Cleveland and litigation in Kentucky.
- New tools were developed to address the care of very young children with diabetes in child care programs.
Strengthened Our Voice in Washington, DC and State Capitols Across the Country
- Call to Congress 2013 brought more than 200 Diabetes Advocates from 45 states and the District of Columbia to Washington DC to advocate for funding for diabetes research and programs. The Association also strengthened its voice on Capitol Hill, state capitols, and with the executive branch of government through four Congressional briefings, increased in-district meetings, sixteen state advocacy days, press events, tens of thousands of emails and phone calls to elected officials, numerous meetings with administration officials, and through coalition work, including founding a coalition to support funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
Reached Out to the Health Care Community
- Advocacy increased its outreach to the health care community through a series of articles in Clinical Diabetes focused on high risk populations, access to health care, and diabetes research, and through presentations at major Association conferences.
- The Association revamped and distributed an entirely new free toolkit for pediatric health care providers aimed at educating providers and their patients about the rights of children to diabetes care at school.
- Added 372 health care professionals to our network of those working to end discrimination based on diabetes.
Sounded a Call to Action for Those at High Risk
- The Association continued to strategically build outside support for its advocacy efforts, making important inroads in increasing diabetes advocacy in disparately impacted populations by presenting at high profile conferences including the National Hispanic Medical Association; Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Diabetes Coalition; National Association of Black Journalists; Congressional Black Caucus; National Indian Health Board; and the League of United Latin American Citizens.
- The Association created a series of new consumer and policy sheets for the African American, Asian Pacific American, and Latino communities and translated key advocacy documents into Spanish.
Inspired Advocates to Action
- The Advocates in Action initiative expanded its Hometown Advocacy Kit, an impressive library of resources to support advocacy outreach and engagement ranging from webinars to support monthly engagement activities to new Easy Advocacy checklists for including advocacy at Association educational and fundraising events.
- The Association provided in-person leadership training, held a series of Advocates in Action and Legal Advocacy webinars, including one to equip advocates with skills needed for outreach to high risk communities, and piloted state-based advocacy training with a focus on upcoming Safe at School legislative campaigns.
Fought to Improve Diabetes Care and Coordination
- Continued aggressive advocacy efforts to ensure access for people with diabetes during implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through numerous official comments, letters and meeting with Administration officials with a focus on expanding coverage for low income Americans, federal rules around wellness programs and consumer protections, and implementation of state marketplaces. The Association also launched an aggressive educational outreach plan around the ACA, developing key documents reaching over 2.5 million people. Media about the American Diabetes Association and access to care for people with diabetes under the ACA reached more than 70 million people.
- Diabetes Action Plan legislation was enacted in seven states: Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington.
- The United States Preventive Services Task Force improved screening guidelines for gestational diabetes.
Protected Legal Rights
- The Association continued its leadership role in promoting equal employment opportunity for people with diabetes. Years of litigation against an interstate motor coach company resulted in the development of a new policy to individually assess bus drivers with non-insulin treated diabetes, a major victory with nationwide implications both inside and outside the company involved.
- Working to improve the care of people with diabetes who encounter law enforcement officers, Association efforts included collaborations with two of the largest police departments in the country, New York City and Philadelphia, and initiating a campaign to educate law enforcement personnel about diabetes, with Diabetes Advocates blanketing 31 states and the District of Columbia and reaching nearly 400 different law enforcement agencies with educational materials about diabetes and policing.
- In conjunction with the strategic plan goal to increase utilization of the Association's resources to protect people from discrimination, completed a year-long effort to brand Legal Advocacy through development of a tag line, design, and key messaging. The Association created new resources to reach people facing discrimination, and used trainings and broadcast, print, and social media to educate the public and advocates about diabetes discrimination.