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Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 6:23am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

This sort of reminds me of an argument I had with my uncle about 15 years ago. He was complaining that he didn't think his insurance premiums should go up to pay for care for AIDS patients who contracted AIDS because of their lifestyles. I asked him about the vegetarians and marathon runners who wouldn't want to pay for his bypass surgery due to his meat-eating and sedentary lifestyle.
While I do think personal responsibility plays a role in many of our chronic "lifestyle" diseases, it's a pretty slippery slope when we start deciding which conditions are worthy and which are not.
Just my $.02.
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 8:23am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by arachide:
[b] Makes me think of the original question MB posed. What "reasonable accomodations" could be made if all obseity was defined as a disability?
[/b]
[i]Actually..............[/i]
[b]these[/i] were the "original" questions *I* posed:
"[i]For starters, does obesity qualify as a "disability" in the "reasonable accommodation" sense?
What "accommodations" if any, have you noticed?
How are these accommodations, if there be any, recieved/viewed by the public? Yourself?[/i]"

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 8:28am
MommaBear's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by arachide:
[b] Definitions again! What are we talking about when we say "accomodations"? ***I*** interpret it as meaning that I would have to alter something I usually do without thought in order to make an environment safer/easier/accessible to someone else who would otherwise be endangered/hampered/restricted from that environment if I didn't alter whatever it was.
Whew, that was a mouthful!
What would the person, disabled by obesity, require of me to change in order to accomodate them?
[/b]
Is [i] a wheelchair ramp[/i] a "reasonable accomodation"? (For example.) Not saying for sure if it is specifically for "obesity", but just in general.

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 8:31am
MommaBear's picture
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Does a "reasonable accomodation" have to necessarily be something someone does for someone else, or can it be giving/allowing someone the tools to do something [i]for themselves[/i]?

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 11:12am
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

I agree that it's a slippery slope.

Posted on: Fri, 01/09/2004 - 3:46pm
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Wowser, is this ever quite the discussion! I can now see where Momma Bear got the next two questions she raised which I actually did have the nerve to answer. Now I'm afraid that I did. However.
When I initially saw the title and had not read anything, I thought obesity is a disability if it is caused by a medical condition.
As a smoker do I consider myself disabled? No. Can I become disabled one day because I am a smoker? Yes.
Is this any way shape or form similar to PA?
IMHO, no. Is this in any way shape or form similar to PA as a disability? IMHO, no.
How the heck did homelessness get mentioned? Someone must have watched the regular Law & Order this past Wednesday night. With that one, although no one else has stated an opinion on homelessness, I say, "there but for the Grace of God go I".
Gwen Thornberry, Cayley's Mom very recently (within the last couple of months) posted about how it has been shown that low income families do find it cheaper to eat at say McDonald's, especially with their 2 for 1 daily deals than it is to buy *proper* food.
I believe she posted about it in off topic, but it may be under Main Discussion. In reading your post, if I hadn't seen your name, I would have thought it was Cayley's Mom posting.
All very thought provoking Momma Bear.
California Mom, I thought you were missing. I see you aren't. Just missing where I thought I would have seen you. Kinda surprised. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Sat, 01/10/2004 - 12:25am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

MB, you get my vote for "teacher of the year".
Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]Does a "reasonable accomodation" have to necessarily be something someone does for someone else, or can it be giving/allowing someone the tools to do something [i]for themselves[/i]?[/b]
Interesting that the link defines obesity as a disability. Anyone read the section on taxes?
Just thinking through how this could playout if the parent pursued that their child's disability (obesity) entitled them to protection under 504 (ADA). Brainstorming a list of "accommodations" that the parent of an obese child may bring with them to their 504 meeting to which they believe and insist that their child has the *right*:
~The obese child has a physician-order special diet. They state that under the federal lunch program, their child has the *right* to a daily school-provided lunch, and they insist that the school do so under the exacting recommendations of their dietician/physician.
~The obese child is unable to participate in the school's regular PE curiculum. Parents state their child needs a daily PE aide to instruct their child on a physician-ordered daily exercise regime. The parents claim that without such, their PE class is discriminatory since their child cannot participate.
~Some doorways in the school building meet the width requirements of the ADA (36 inches) yet are still too narrow for their child to comfortably squeeze through. The parents want the school to widen these doorways. They claim that their child's access to a public building is impaired otherwise.
~Due to the child's specific, restricted diet, the parents want the school to change its exisiting policies related to food brought into the school by parents/children. The parents do not want any food at any school-sponsored event (including classroom parties) because, due to his disbility, their child cannot participate. They claim that the school providing food (or authorizing others to bring in food at a school-sponsored event) is unfair and discriminatory under ADA.
If I had an obese child, I wonder to what extent I would advocate for her. I wonder what I would believe to be "reasonable" for the school to accommodate. I wonder to what extent I believed he/she had the *right* to certain experiences while in a public building. Admittedly, there have been times when I have argued for the above scenarios, except under the ADA accommodation of PA.
Thank you MB.

Posted on: Sat, 01/10/2004 - 12:43am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]
Thank you MB.[/b]
You are extremely welcome. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
(blushing) "teacher" may be one of the many hats I wear as a nurse, but *my* personal favorite role is that of the "student". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
edit to shorten quote. (didn't mean to quote the entire post, but wow, Gail, you take excellent notes!)
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited January 10, 2004).]

Posted on: Sat, 01/10/2004 - 1:13am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]If I had an obese child, I wonder to what extent I would advocate for her. I wonder what I would believe to be "reasonable" for the school to accommodate. I wonder to what extent I believed he/she had the *right* to certain experiences while in a public building. Admittedly, there have been times when I have argued for the above scenarios, except under the ADA accommodation of PA.
[/b]
I completely understand. [i]Since I've worn those same shoes[/i]. They were too flashy, didn't go well with many of my outfits, and weren't suited for distance running. (I find myself doing a lot of it, many times out of necessity, Many times due to choice. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img])

Posted on: Sat, 01/10/2004 - 3:51am
KarenH's picture
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

Working in the schools already, there is something that I've noticed. Regarding obesity and how parents would advocate for their child, the sad thing is, many don't.
And in my own personal work/parenting experience... schools, unless the parents advocate loud and clear for their kids (even with the obvious disabilities), will do the minimum required, cite money and staffing issues, etc until the parents force their children to be accomodated. Some teachers prefer to do no more then they have to and resent parents that push for more. Of course there are certain things like wheelchair ramps and bathrooms which are law, but there is so many other things that are overlooked.
The kids who have parents that won't back down get the most accomodation. (as usually are labeled as difficult parents) The kids whose parents don't say a thing....usually suffer.
By "accomodations" I mean....
-having the specific special needs bus to transport the child on field trips
-modifying classroom activities so that the child can participate and not be left sitting on the sidelines because the "can't do it"
-having appropriate supervision for the child (not just sticking them in a play room while the EA has to have a break)
-providing an appropriate educational program for the child (many times this can be overlooked)
-in my son's case, recognizing that he has some special needs in the first place, and recognizing that while he's intellegent they must modify the method for putting it out there.
And you know what? This isn't just special needs/obese/kids with special health problems. This is ALL kids.

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