Meal Plan Modification Policy and Procedure
The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) works collaboratively with the Department of Dining Services, Residential Life and Health Services in order to provide accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. According to the terms and conditions of the On-Campus Housing Contract, which is available at http://reslife.uconn.edu/housing-contract-forms/, “All undergraduate students residing in non-apartment spaces are required to purchase a resident meal plan. Students residing in apartments or graduate students assigned to Connecticut Commons are not required to purchase a resident meal plan, and may purchase any meal plan including options available to commuters”.
Students with documented disabilities for whom eating in a dining hall is not viable due to medically necessitated dietary requirements may request a meal plan modification. Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. While the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its amendments of 2008 requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and other suitable techniques are available.
- Students must first meet with a University nutritionist to determine whether or not modifications can be made in the dining halls based on the student’s specific dietary needs. An appointment with a nutritionist can be scheduled by calling 486-2719.
- A follow-up meeting with then be arranged by the nutritionist and include the Assistant Director of Dining Services (and designated dining hall manager if appropriate) to discuss further options within the capacities of the dining hall.
- After meeting with a University nutritionist and Assistant Director of Dining Services, if a student still feels that their dietary needs cannot be accommodated in the dining halls, the student may complete a request for accommodations at the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), located in the Wilbur Cross Building, Room 204.
- Students must submit appropriate medical documentation to the CSD, which establishes the need for an accommodation and relates the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodation. Documentation will be kept confidential and maintained at the CSD only. Guidelines for medical documentation are below. Students are encouraged to share these guidelines with their physicians.
- Documentation may be hand-carried, faxed to (860) 486-4412, or mailed to the CSD at 233 Glenbrook Road, Unit 4174, Storrs, CT 06269-4174.
- Once appropriate documentation is received, the Meal Plan Accommodations Review Committee will be convened by the CSD to review the request. This committee includes individuals from the Center for Students with Disabilities, University Nutrition Services, Dining Services, Residential Life and Student Health Services.
- Decisions regarding an appropriate accommodation will be based on the documented need of the student as verified by the physician, the recommendation of the committee, and the capacity of the dining hall to accommodate the student’s need.
Guidelines for Medical Documentation – the following information should be shared with the appropriate medical professional treating the student. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student. Documentation consists of an evaluation by an appropriate professional that relates the current impact of the condition to the request, and should include:
- A diagnostic statement including the date of the most recent evaluation;
- The current impact of (or limitations imposed by) the condition;
- Treatments, medications, devices or services currently prescribed or used to mitigate the impact of the condition;
- The expected duration, stability or progression of the condition.
In addition to the basic documentation for a condition described above, recommendations from the treating professional are welcome and will be given consideration in evaluating a request. However, final determination regarding an accommodation will be made by the Meal Plan Accommodations Review Committee. Recommendations should include:
- A clear description of the meal plan modification requested;
- An explanation of how the modification will mitigate the condition;
- Treatments, medications, devices or services currently prescribed or used to mitigate the impact of the condition.
- A statement of the level of need for (or consequences of not receiving) the modification.
Practitioners are reminded that a meal plan modification and/or housing accommodation will only be granted for students with documented disabilities for whom eating in the dining halls is not viable due to medically necessitated dietary requirements.
- FARE College: Food Allergy Program
Food Allergy Research & Education organization launched the College Food Allergy Program with the goal of developing a comprehensive program to improve the safety and quality of life for college students with food allergies.