COVID-19 and Type 1: School and Employment Rights, from a Lawyer

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Daniel Phelan, an attorney who talks about COVID-19 and school and employment rights if you have type 1 diabetes.

Accommodations. You might not know that it’s an important word, for anyone who has a disability. And, if you’re a person with type 1 diabetes (T1D), you have a qualified disability, and can request reasonable accommodations to help you go to school or work.

But what about COVID-19 and T1D? To help you traverse the school and employment rights, JDRF had a Facebook Live event with Daniel Phelan, Esq., an attorney who’s an associate at Duval and Stachenfeld LLP and chairman and CEO of the Type 1 Action Foundation. He was diagnosed with T1D when he was in seventh grade, just a few weeks after his 13th birthday.

You’ll learn:


  • What are the basic legal protections for T1D?



  • Are there any legal protections for students who chose distance learning due to T1D, and now would like to re-enroll with in-person learning?
  • What legal requests can be made for transportation to and from school? How would I make the request?
  • How about after school extra-curricular activities like athletics, band, or theater. Can special accommodations for in-person practices or transportation be requested?
  • Are there any legal protections that staff be trained to assist the child with T1D management, and that a nurse must be present?
  • What accommodations are a reasonable expectation when it comes to college and wanting virtual classes? Could a T1D student request a dorm room with single occupancy?

Employment Rights for Adults with T1D who Work in Schools


  • The school district has moved to a hybrid learning model. Do I have any rights, as a teacher, to keep doing virtual learning only?
  • What about physical education teachers and providing lunch supervision—times when students are not required to wear masks. What accommodations can they seek while still continuing to work?

Workplace Employment Rights for Adults with T1D


  • Hospitals are facing staffing shortages and I may have to begin working with COVID patients. Do I have any legal rights, as a nurse, to take sick leave and/or collect disability?
  • Are there protections that could help someone working at a warehouse? What about retail?

Check out the full, recorded Facebook Live event below.