SOS Diabetes is a parent-led effort that began in February 2014 to encourage the Ontario Minisry of Education to develop a policy that will ensure students with type 1 diabetes get the support that they need while at school.
On October 24, 2017, Ontario issued new requirements for all school boards to have policies and procedures in place to support students with certain medical conditions, including diabetes. The Policy and Program Memorandum (PPM) comes into effect in September 2018.
While the PPM requires school board to ensure that all students with diabetes have a care plan, there is no requirement for staff support where children need help with tasks associated with daily management (for example, blood sugar checks or insulin administration). That means parents and students will continue to rely on staff volunteers. If you think this should change, make your voice heard.
We’re mothers and fathers of children and youth with type 1 diabetes. We struggle with sending our kids to school, wanting them to be safe and supported. In the absence of a province-wide policy that sets standards for supporting students with type 1 diabetes, it’s not easy. We want to change that. This is our vision of an ideal future:
- The Ontario school system supports and protects students with type 1 diabetes, working with families to ensure students’ diabetes is well managed and that they have the fullest possible school experience, regardless of their age or treatment regimen.
- Parents of students with type 1 diabetes feel supported and confident sending their children to school, whether they are entering the school system for the first time or going back to school after a diagnosis.
Why is this issue so important? Read what some parents have to say:
- Fighting to keep children safe at school: (Globe and Mail, November 2014)
- How to make Canadian schools diabetes-safe: (Insulin Nation, December 2015)
Here’s what we’re doing to help:
- We’re advocating to school boards and the Ontario government for better policies around management of type 1 diabetes in schools.
- We’re sharing information with parents to help them communicate with schools.
- We’re collecting parents’ and students’ stories to document what’s happening in Ontario schools, to highlight the differences across the province and better understand where improvements need to be made.
You can also join the conversation on Facebook. Send a request to “Support Ontario students with type 1 diabetes” to be added to the group.
Follow us on Twitter: @SOST1D