Are schools required to accommodate the needs of children with diabetes?

Mr. Eliot LeBow, CDE, LCSW
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Schools in all 50 states are required to accommodate kids with diabetes. Watch this video to learn what steps Eliot LeBow, a psychotherapist who specializes in diabetes, suggests parents take to make sure a child with diabetes is safe at school.

School districts and staff must provide an individualized plan to accommodate a student's special healthcare needs. Two federal laws apply to children with diabetes:
  • The Education for All Handicapped Act of 1975 entitles all physically, developmentally, emotionally, and other health-impaired children to free, appropriate public education. Any school that receives federal funding or facility considered open to the public must reasonably accommodate the special needs of children with diabetes.
  • Section 504 is a civil rights law that makes it illegal for any agency or organization that receives federal funds to discriminate in any way against qualified people with disabilities. Staff at most schools are aware of their obligation to support your daily diabetes care -- including helping with monitoring and medication. Still, they'll rely on you and your family to communicate your needs, teach how to meet them, and provide the tools to do so.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.