SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

July 15, 2008 12:28 ET

Statement of the American Diabetes Association on U.S. Senate Hearing to Discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2008) - John Griffin, Jr., Esq., a member of the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Board of Directors, issued the following statement regarding a hearing held today, by the U.S. Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension to determine the proper scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We applaud Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), for demonstrating their commitment to ending discrimination against people with disabilities by holding today's hearing to discuss the coverage of Americans with diabetes and other serious illnesses under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In doing so, this committee demonstrates that the Senate is concerned about protecting Americans from discrimination based on conditions such as diabetes. The Senate is considering amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act that would end the current Catch-22 in which people with conditions like diabetes who work hard to manage their conditions are then told that they have been so successful that they don't qualify for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act even when they are explicitly discriminated against because of their disease. Thus, today's hearing is a critical step on the road to insuring that people with disabilities are judged on their own merit, which will be a great accomplishment for all Americans."

The American Diabetes Association has banded together with other disability rights organizations and partners in the business community to urge Congressional support for legislation that proposes changes to restore the protections Congress originally intended when it passed this law in 1990, but which have been eroded as a result of a series of Supreme Court rulings.

The ADA is the nation's leading voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association's advocacy efforts include helping to combat discrimination against people with diabetes; advocating for the increase of federal diabetes research and programs; and improved access to, and quality of, healthcare for people with diabetes. The ADA's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides service to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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