Individual Advocacy
Have you been fired from your job because of your epilepsy? Are you having a hard time getting the services your child needs to succeed in school? Is your healthcare insurance provider forcing you to switch to a generic medication? Were you arrested because police reacted inappropriately to your complex partial seizure?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a conflict you need to resolve, or you’re the victim of discrimination or mistreatment, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan may be able to help. Our Individual Advocacy program staff can intervene in a number of ways, including the following:

  • educating an employer about epilepsy and the Americans With Disabilities Act
  • attending an IEP meeting to help ensure that a student receives needed services
  • contacting a health insurance provider to appeal a coverage decision
  • providing an attorney with information on epilepsy for a court case
  • providing sensitivity training to a health or human service professional who has mistreated an individual with epilepsy
  • meeting with health & human service administrators to review an organization’s policies regarding clients with epilepsy
  • connecting a person with epilepsy with a lawyer or advocate who has special expertise in the issue at hand

The following are a few examples of how Individual Advocacy staff have helped individuals affected by epilepsy:

  • helped a woman with epilepsy become a member of a health club after she was denied access on the basis of her epilepsy
  • assisted parent in obtaining school payment for independent neuropsychological evaluation of her child when standard school testing did not show deficits; negotiated Section 504 educational accommodations to be implemented until testing and re-evaluation preformed; child later qualified for IEP based on results of independent testing; attended IEP
  • contacted local EMS department when client was billed for ambulance charges after having refused transport; county waived their charges
  • client was arrested in postictal state, injured due to rough treatment, strip searched, and threatened with committal for psychological evaluation; discussed client’s case with Epilepsy Foundation’s Legal Defense Fund staff who referred it to a lawyer for resolution
  • contacted client’s neurologist and instructed on how to respond to employer’s inquiries into work site safety issues; was able to get work restrictions lifted and reasonable accommodations put in place
To access this service, please contact Russ Derry (800-377-6226 ext. 1302).