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Am I justified to sue my college for disability discrimination?

Discussion in 'Education Law, School System' started by Joseph Berg, Sep 9, 2019.

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  1. Joseph Berg

    Joseph Berg Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I am going to go into my senior year at my private college in Kenosha WI. I am a type one diabetic and have multiple diabetic low seizures in the dorms, 4 last year, and 6 the year before. I have never had a diabetic seizure outside of school. The school's rules are you must have senior standing to live off-campus. I am a few credits shy but will graduate on time still. I have emailed the head of the residential life office asking to be exempt from this rule so I can live off-campus where I can have snacks and drinks for lows that I can get easily, food where I can have the correct carb count, etc. I also will have roommates who know about my diabetes and know what to do if I do end up going into a diabetic low seizure. My endocrinologist wrote a letter on my behalf saying it is necessary that I live off-campus to better take care of my diabetes. I am assigned to a dorm room where I do not have a roommate. I stressed that I need a roommate because most of my low blood sugar caused seizures happened during the night. The response from the college was that a doctors note is not sufficient enough, I missed the application period for off-campus applications, and the only accommodation is that I can have an extra fridge in my room. I am currently living off-campus because I felt it was best for my own health and safety, instead of in a room alone. The college has too many incoming freshman and some have to stay in hotel rooms since there are no rooms "available" for them. My assigned room is completely empty and two freshmen could live there not in a hotel. The school knows I live off-campus and still have to pay for room and board. Their response was "if that's what you feel is best then go ahead, but you will still have to pay for your room here". Then they said I could apply to get off campus next semester but it is not a guarantee and rarely happens. Recently the college has built a new building and has gone into debt. So it seems the college is more interested in money than for the lives of its students. I am looking to sue the college for disability discrimination since the ADA requires colleges to comply with reasonable accommodations. I believe they have not and put my life at risk if I lived on campus alone. Am I justified to sue? If so, can I sue for tuition coverage, off-campus, money settlement, etc.?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It would be far simpler, maybe safer, for you to attend a college without 18th century policies and controls.

    It would also be more cost effective for you, too.
     
  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    The ADA does not say that you are entitled to whatever accommodation you prefer or even the one that the doctor recommends. They are providing you with an accommodation - just not the one you want. Surely you don't think you're the only diabetic in the school - are they to waive the rule for all of them? If not, what makes you special?

    You're going to need quite a lot more than you have, IMO, before you have a legal claim.
     
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  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I agree you would need a far more compelling argument to be successful against the school. Knowing your condition you agreed to certain rules when you began attending the school. Nothing has changed between then and now. You are showing why you want the change and how it might benefit you, but not that it is a medical necessity.
     
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply to this. Rather, it would be the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and only if the school accepts federal funds. While nearly every college and university does accept federal funds, it is important to verify this one does to know if those rules would apply here. The ADA was modeled after the Rehabilitation Act, but they are not exactly the same.
     
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  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Thanks, Tax.
     

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