Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood to become too high. It happens when your body can't produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose. You need daily injections of insulin to keep your blood glucose levels under control. Managing type 1 diabetes can take time to get used to, but you can still do all the things you enjoy and thankfully, very few professions remain completely out of bounds for people with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes isn't linked with age or being overweight. Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes isn't easy. It can take time to adjust to and affect how you feel.
Telling people you have diabetes can be difficult. One in six working people with diabetes feel they’ve been discriminated against by their employer because of their diabetes. If you feel you’ve been mistreated, remember you have rights.
As someone living with diabetes in England, Scotland or Wales, your rights at work are set out in the Equality Act 2010. If you live in Northern Ireland, they are in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Both these acts state the steps employers must follow in their treatment of employees and job seekers who have a disability. While you might not think of your diabetes as a disability, you should be protected by these acts.
The Equality Act 2010 describes a disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial long-term negative effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. If you take medication, the decision is based on how your impairment would affect you if you didn’t take the medication. So, to ask whether diabetes fits the description of disability, you must consider the effect of diabetes if it wasn’t being treated.
Sadly, people with Type 1 Diabetes are still being discriminated against in the educational and working world. I have started this petition because I feel that Type 1 Diabetes should be automatically included in The Equality Act 2010 like Cancer, HIV and MS without the indignity of having to prove the impact.
As a type 1 diabetic, I don’t consider myself to be disabled, many people with Type 1 don’t. We just need to work a bit harder to juggle our medication regime with the demands of normal life. What I do think is needed though is more concrete legal protection.
I would like to see a more inclusive world where people dont judge children and adults due to ignorance, where you don’t see memes about eating too many sweets causing it, where children are all included in school extra curricular activities, treated as if they were no different from anyone with a working pancreas and where people don’t get dismissed for a condition they didn’t ask for.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Keep signing and sharing this campaign and if you have a poor experience at school or at work, please report it to your School Governors, your HR Department, contact your union, the Equality Advisory & Support Service, JDRF the type 1 diabetes charity, Diabetes UK Advocacy, but most of all don’t suffer in silence.