- To end epilepsy-related discrimination and injustice through education and increased access to legal services for individuals with epilepsy -- through a system of managed referrals and legal support to a nationwide network of attorneys committed to this cause.
- To advance the rights of people with epilepsy by changing discriminatory practices, policies and laws.
The Jeanne A. Carpenter Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund has been created to help people with epilepsy fight this discrimination. Make a Donation to the Fund.
The Epilepsy Foundation's Jeanne A. Carpenter Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund fights discrimination in:
- public accommodations (i.e. camp's, childcare facilities, stores, hotels, theaters and fitness clubs)
- public programs and services, including police and EMT response to seizures
- parental custody disputes
- criminal justice matters
Over the past few decades, great strides have been made in diagnosing and treating epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by recurring seizures. Despite these advances, epilepsy continues to evoke negative stereotypes, fear and discrimination. For instance:
- In Virginia, a man was arrested for trespassing and prohibited from visiting a retail store, after having a seizure while picking up his epilepsy-related medicines at the store's pharmacy.
- In Tennessee, a college student was prohibited from attending classes due to his epilepsy, and was instead required to take classes via the Internet.
- In Texas, a woman lost her job after disclosing her epileptic condition on employer insurance forms.
- In New Jersey, a man with epilepsy died after police responded to a request for medical assistance and allegedly used excessive force to restrain the man while he was having a seizure.
- In California, a preschool refused to administer life-saving medicine on an as-needed basis to a child with epilepsy.
Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund Newsletter
- Case Roundup
- Fund Recognizes John T. Wagener's Work For Disability Community
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Grants Exemptions to Epilepsy Drivers
- Education Rights of Public School versus Private School Students
- Resources for Attorneys
Read the newsletter (PDF).