Legal Assistance

The American Diabetes Association is committed to ending discrimination against children and adults with diabetes by providing information and assistance to people with diabetes and their advocates. We use a four-step process to end discrimination: educate, negotiate, litigate and legislate.

Find the answers to frequently asked questions on how to get help with a discrimination problem by clicking on the following questions.

  1. I need help with a discrimination problem - what can I do?
  2. What can I expect by contacting the American Diabetes Association?
  3. Can I visit my local Association office to get help with my discrimination problem?
  4. Will my information be shared or revealed to others if I contact the American Diabetes Association?
  5. How have other people with diabetes been helped by a legal advocate?
  6. How long will it take to hear from a legal advocate?
  7. How can I help others facing diabetes discrimination?
  8. Where can I find more disability resources?

Question

I need help with a discrimination problem – what can I do?

Answer

If you are being discriminated against because of your diabetes at work, at school, by the police or in correctional institutions, or in public places, you can request assistance from the American Diabetes Association.

The first step to request assistance is to call us at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). A representative from the Association's Center for Information and Community Support will send you a packet of information and a form to request help from one of the Association's legal advocates.

The discrimination information/assistance form can be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to you, and you can return it to us via mail, email or fax. Once we receive the form, a legal advocate will contact you to discuss your situation.

It’s important to send in a form so we can help you. The form helps us gain information about your situation – and do any necessary research before speaking with you – so that we can provide the best assistance to you.

Please note: requesting assistance from the American Diabetes Association is not the same thing as filing a complaint, and submitting a discrimination form does not stop the clock on any legal deadlines. Click here to find more information on filing administrative complaints, lawsuits and the timelines for taking such action.

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Question

What can I expect by contacting the American Diabetes Association?

Answer

When you send in a form requesting help from a legal advocate, you can expect to receive information and assistance from a lawyer specializing in diabetes discrimination issues. Although all our legal advocates are licensed attorneys, they are not able to represent you and speaking with a legal advocate will not create a client-attorney relationship.

The legal advocate you speak with will provide you with information about your legal rights, provide strategies for exercising your rights, give you tools to use to advocate for yourself and negotiate a resolution of your problem, and where necessary and appropriate, guide you through the applicable legal process. In certain cases, we may be able to refer you to a lawyer to help you negotiate a resolution or to represent you.

Our legal advocacy program also works with a number of diabetes health care professionals, who are a crucial link in the process of resolving discrimination matters. Where appropriate and possible, we can help locate medical expertise to support your claim of discrimination.

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Question

Can I visit my local Association office to get help with my discrimination problem?

Answer

Although staff in the Association's field offices are involved in our advocacy efforts, all of our legal advocacy work is handled out of the Association's national office located in Alexandria, Virginia. To access the resources of our legal advocacy program, contact us at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383).

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Question

Will my information be shared or revealed to others if I contact the American Diabetes Association?

Answer

All information you provide to us, including the fact that you contacted us about a discrimination matter, is treated confidentially and not shared outside of legal advocacy staff unless you give us explicit permission to talk to others about your case. Because contacting the Association for discrimination assistance does not constitute filing a complaint, your employer or school or other entity will not be notified that you contacted the Association. We do collect data about discrimination inquiries, such as the type of problem and where it occurs, to help us identify trends and allocate resources. That data is kept confidential and access restricted to legal advocacy staff.

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Question

How have other people with diabetes been helped by a legal advocate?

Answer

You're not alone. Others have faced - and defeated - discrimination because of diabetes. Here are some recent examples.

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Question

How long will it take to hear from a legal advocate?

Answer

We respond to requests for assistance in the order in which we receive them. We understand that you have contacted the American Diabetes Association because you need help and we do our best to help you just as quickly as we can.

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Question

How can I help others facing diabetes discrimination?

Answer

If you know someone facing diabetes discrimination, encourage him or her to call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) so we can help them. Or call us yourself and have a packet of information about discrimination mailed to you so that you can share our resources with this person.

You can also help others with diabetes facing discrimination by helping us to raise the funds necessary to do this work. Organize a team of friends and family to participate in your local Step Out or Tour de Cure event. Contact your local American Diabetes Association office to help organize a Gala, EXPO or other event.

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Question

Where can I find more disability resources?

Answer

Click here for a list of other disability- and civil rights-related organizations and agencies

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  • Last Reviewed: October 1, 2013
  • Last Edited: July 25, 2014

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Diabetes Forecast