T1D College Accommodations
Editor’s Note: For more information on managing type 1 diabetes in college, sign up for Beyond Type 1: College Edition, our email series on all things college + type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Setting out to begin your life as a new college student can be stressful and overwhelming enough as it is, but as a person with diabetes, there are even more factors to keep in mind before taking the next big step in your life! Here are a few things that will help you to have the best possible college experience.
Register for Accommodations
Many newly enrolled college students with diabetes are not even aware that they are eligible to register with their Disabilities Services office to receive certain accommodations that may prove to be very helpful throughout their years in college.
Registering for disability is your legal right and can help create an on-the-record (so you’re legally protected) plan for things like:
- The option to postpone or retake a test or homework assignment that was impacted by a severe high or low blood sugar.
- Keeping your professors in the know so that you’ll have free reign to have food and drink in the classroom for a low, and the ability to check technology (blood glucose monitors, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps) without being questioned.
- Early class and/or housing registration, meal plans and roommate options.
Before or as soon as you arrive at your campus, check with Health Services to see which office is in charge of Accommodations/Disability Registration and be prepared with the necessary documentation (prescriptions, doctor’s letters to confirm your diagnosis and needs, etc.)
Know your Resources
As soon as you arrive on campus:
- Familiarize yourself with your school’s Health Services center and the staff.
- Be aware of your nearest hospital.
- Find your nearest pharmacy and notify your doctor of its address/phone number for prescription renewals, etc.!
- Be on the lookout for other students or staff wearing pumps, CGMs, or carrying around insulin pens, or create “groups” on social media for people with type 1 nearby. Introduce yourself! It never hurts to have a few more allies with type 1 diabetes (T1D) on campus!
- Email your professors the Professor’s Guide to Type 1 diabetes.
- Check out The Diabetes Link (a community for teens and twenty-somethings with diabetes, formerly known as the College Diabetes Network) and see if your campus has a chapter!