#HealthCareEquality Benefits Families

  • June 1, 2019

Kevin* is an active toddler who loves to play with his friends at daycare. When his big appetite decreased, Kevin’s parents took him to doctors who diagnosed him with low blood sugar. His doctors recommended a G-tube, which would give Kevin the extra nutrition he needed to keep his blood sugar level. When Kevin’s parents told the daycare of his new G-tube, staff would not allow him to return. Kevin’s father had to take approximately six weeks off of work to care for his son.

“As working parents, we've relied on the individuals at our son's daycare to help care for him while we are at work since he was only eight weeks old. After being told he couldn't return due to having a G-tube placed, we found ourselves in an incredibly tough spot,” explains Kevin’s mother. 

“During the nearly two month process of getting him back in daycare, our son frequently said he missed his friends and wanted to go back to daycare,” Kevin’s mother continues. “We tried to encourage him and make up for the change in his routine, but it was difficult for the family as a whole. One of us missed a great deal of work, family was driving from hours away to help us care for him, local friends did what they could, but we knew none of these could work as a long term solution. The loss of childcare produced a ripple effect that caused a great amount of uncertainty and stress in our daily lives.” 

 

“As working parents, we've relied on the individuals at our son's daycare to help care for him while we are at work since he was only eight weeks old. After being told he couldn't return due to having a G-tube placed, we found ourselves in an incredibly tough spot,” explains Kevin’s mother. 

 

Kevin’s father could not stop working so the parents came to DRT for help. DRT advocated for Kevin to return to daycare. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a daycare must make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures, if such modifications are needed to give people with disabilities equal access to the daycare’s programs and services. The only exception is if the modification would cause an “undue burden” on the daycare or “fundamentally alter” its program. Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Human Services regulations mandate that daycares must make reasonable and manageable efforts to include children with disabilities in their programs and services.

The daycare was educated about Kevin’s G-tube and their responsibility to provide health care equality. Kevin was allowed to return to daycare and spends his days playing with his friends. His parents have resumed their careers, grateful to know that Kevin is safe and happy.

Summary: Kevin* had to get a G-tube. His daycare would not care for him anymore. His dad had to stop working to care for him. His family needed help. They called DRT. DRT told the daycare the law. The law says daycares usually have to care for all children even when they need extra help. The daycare learned how to help Kevin. Kevin went back to daycare. His parents went back to work.

*Not his real name

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This story is a part of a larger #HealthCareEquality campaign. Health care equality is literally a matter of life or death, especially for people with disabilities. Learn more about the campaign.

 

 

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free legal advocacy services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

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