Dining Accommodations for Students with Food-Related Disabilities 

Elizabethtown College is a four year residential college with a required meal plan.  We recognize that certain food related conditions, such as an autoimmune disease like celiac disease or allergies to products like shellfish, wheat, milk, peanuts, or eggs, constitute a disability for some students. While food sensitivities are not recognized as a disability under ADA, dining services staff will be available to educate students with food sensitivities regarding our ingredient list. The College makes reasonable modifications for students who have food-related disabilities limiting their ability to fully participate in our meal plan.  The College expects specific modifications will be the result of an interactive process among the student, the Director of Dining Services, and the Director of Disability Services. While Dining Services is committed to the dietary health of each student, it is the student’s responsibility to inquire about ingredients in foods served Students may do this by asking the server, by reviewing the ingredient list in the log book at the check station, or upon request by reviewing the ingredients in the storage areas.

Dining Modifications may include :

  • Pre-ordering from existing menu. Students who qualify for dining modifications can review the online daily dining menus and have the option to pre-order requested meal choices.  If Dining Services is unable to fulfill the particular request because the request is not made in a timely manner, we will provide an alternative option consistent with the student’s dietary requirements.
  • Special food preparation of existing menu items or ability to request menu substitutions prepared without certain ingredients, such as dairy, tree nuts, gluten, etc.  Dining services staff will prepare and store specially prepared meals in a separate and allergy free area. Student will also have access to allergy free dining space and appliances to store and prepare some foods, as well as access to designated areas in the walk in coolers in accordance with their specific dietary needs.

In certain cases, if repeated attempts to provide reasonable dietary accommodations have been unsuccessful, modifications to the existing meal plan may be considered.  This will be determined on a case by case basis after reviewing the history of interactions between the student and appropriate dining services staff. If it is determined that over the course of the semester, after regularly engaging with appropriate dining services and/or disability services staff, reasonable modifications were not able to be provided, alterations to the meal plan will be considered. Please note, unused meal swipes at the end of the semester is not evidence the suggested accommodation was not provided to the student.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify Disability Services and Dining Services of any difficulties they have with these modifications in a timely manner.  Students should also make Dining Services and Disability Services aware of changes in the requested modification during their enrollment in the college.  Students’ whose requests are denied or who are dissatisfied with the process or its outcome have the option to file a petition using the Grievance Procedure on the Disability Services website.

Dining Accommodation Request Procedure :

1. The student will submit Dining Services Accommodation Request Form and supporting documentation from their treating health care provider to Disability Services and request a meeting with the Director of Disability Services.

2. During this meeting, the student and the Director of Disability Services will discuss reasonable modifications to the meal plan based upon the submitted documentation and supporting information from the student.  The student will be given a meal plan accommodation letter detailing the specific modification plan tailored to the student’s dietary requirements. 

3. It is the student’s responsibility to notify Disability Services of any changes in the requested modification during their enrollment in the college.

The following factors are taken into consideration when evaluating Dining Services Accommodation requests:

  1. Clarity of the student request and supporting documentation
  2. Alternative accommodations that would achieve similar benefits.
  3. Negative health/academic impact if the request is not granted.

Please note*  Elizabethtown College makes reasonable modifications to meals prepared in the Marketplace for students with food related disabilities with no additional charge, however we do not offer a discount price for gluten free foods sold in the Jays Nest, the Blue Bean Café, or the Jay Truck.