Q: Good morning, My (12 year old) daughter is a type 1 diabetic, and she was denied her accommodations at a Summer camp in
My daughter is type 1 diabetic, and she was denied her accommodations at a summer camp in Florida in which she was enrolled and we have been paying for more than 1 year to save her place, on June 15, 2023 I filled out all the forms required by the camp with all her necessary accommodations, however, it was not until July 21, 2023 that at my insistence they called me to trying to understand what Sophie needed and they found it very difficult and they preferred that she not attend the camp, they offered me a call with the camp doctor, but there were only 2 days left before leaving for the camp, which assured me that the staff neither knew nor was capable of supervising my daughter, nor did the call with the doctor never happen, so they told me that they preferred to return my money. The director of the Camp told me that he would rather have me sue them than take my daughter away and have to put in the simple accommodations that the ADA requires. What can i do?
A: Receive the refund and enroll her in another camp, one that is willing to meet her medical needs.
The camp may or may not be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, depending on various factors. This publication by the American Diabetes Association is helpful: https://diabetes.org/sites/default/files/2021-06/Camp_2021_Fact%20Sheetsnewbranding.pdf
As explained there, the general rule is that a camp may not discriminate against children with diabetes, but there are exceptions to the rule, one of those being that they "are not required to provide reasonable modifications if doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the program. This sometimes means a camp does not need to hire full time staff to give care if that is not normally part of their program."
So there is no quick, easy answer to your question, "What can I do?", other than to schedule a consultation with an attorney handling ADA issues. Based on your description of the director's attitude, a lawyer's letter demanding admittance probably wouldn't work, and you may have to pay a few hundred dollars for such a letter. You can file a lawsuit seeking money damages, and the company owning the camp may want to litigate it to the hilt, with the case lasting years. For that reason, I'm guessing you won't find a lawyer to represent you on a contingency (no up-front-fees) basis - but I could be wrong. You may want to contact disability discrimination lawyers by using the Justia Find a Lawyer tab or my contacting the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service.
How about asking the American Diabetes Association if they can help you to locate the right kind of camp?
Hope this helps!
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