Friday, August 01, 2008

Education, Disrupted: An Update

This past May I wrote about the challenges college students with chronic illness face in terms of achieving their goals and staying enrolled. I also wrote about the great work the Chronic Illness Initiative at DePaul University is doing to help students overcome these challenges.

As an update to that post, I'm happy to pass along this news story about Michelle's Law, a bill passed recently that, according to the Boston Globe "would allow allow seriously ill or injured college students to take up to one year of medical leave without losing their health insurance."

It's sadly ironic that in cases like this, students with serious conditions who are trying to treat their illnesses or recover are often penalized by losing the very insurance they need to survive. That's why this legislation is exciting, promising, and...logical.

Who would have guessed it?


Leslie said...

Hi Laurie. Just wanted to let you know that I've posted on your book. You can read the post here:

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in listening to the comments of a 13 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome about his recent diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis.

While the podcast entitled "Special Feature Interview with Douglas Giesel and An Update Interview with Lewis Schofield" is mostly autism-based, Lewis does comment on his MG. His words are very inspirational.

Also in the podcast, a man with Multiple Sclerosis talks about his own invisible disability and how it is perceived.

Midnight In Chicago puts out these free audio podcasts, and they can be listened to at

Anney E.J. Ryan said...

As a prof, I've always wanted to start some massive petitioning against the food served in the college cafs. I know this may be a stretch to connect to this particular blog, but I think that healthy eating is connected to overall health. I can't imagine how chronically ill students find suitable food in sodexho and aramark cafeterias, esp. when it makes healthy kids sick too!

Courtney said...

I am concerned about Michelle's Law going into effect across the country without taking into account independent full time college students as well. I was covered under the SCHOOL's insurance and was only allowed one semester medical withdrawal. So I took it, took the summer off (keeping the insurance for that time) and started again in school. I ended up failing all my classes last Fall because I needed my healh insurance. If I took another medical withdrawal I would have to pay back the insurance company everything they paid out.

I had to petition to get financial aid once again because of my grades.

Even though I only need 3/4ths time intead of full time to get the insurance, they don't consider online classes. It's very difficult. Especially now because I'm having surgery next week and absolutely need the insurance in the fall, but I will be missing 2-3 weeks of class in the begining.

Its a tough road.

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