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Disabilities Act And Celiac
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I read an article recently about a woman who could not attend college because of her allergy to peanuts...and I learned that Celiacs are officially considered disabled. Check out this web site:

 

http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=19&cont=255

 

I know when I studied for my second Masters (in secondary education) they covered this act and I thought of Celiacs, but I never thought we are officially included. The law does not allow someone to be excluded because of a disability...

 

How does this work with restaurants? Are they not forced by law to accommodate Celiacs then? Hmmm....

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It doesn't appear to work in restaurants. Here's why:

It's a choice to purchase a product at a restauraunt. And, Just as a grocery does not have to stock gluten-free bread or a boutique does not have to have a size 16, we are physically able to choose where to shop.

A college is a bit different. If the student is required to purchase a meal plan, they have to be able to provide it safely. If they cannot, they have to make it a " choice" and offer to release the student from the mandatory meal plan ( as an example ).

In the end, the " law " is only as good as the legal interpretations and lawsuit outcomes. I fear a ruling that all restauraunts must provide gluten-free food will not be as helpful as we hope. Many places will just offer some pre- made gluten-free option that they can microwave and serve in the container. For most businesses, people willing to pay for a product, be it gluten-free bread or a size 16 or Celiac safe menu options, will fuel the variety of options offered.

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Yep, we're covered under it. But like it was already said, its only really useful for school situations.

 

For example, some colleges require their freshman (and sometimes sophomore) to live on campus in the dorms. With the disability act, that student can have accommodations in the school's cafeteria.

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Hmmm...hopefully as progress comes they restaurants will be required to fully fulfill proper meals for Celiacs. I mean they provide ramps for wheelchairs... I'm also concerned about airports and flights because that is a highly limiting situation with no choices and I'm pretty sure airlines receive federal funding. Travel has been really hard for me, so I hope that one aspect changes.

 I love that this is considered a real disability! I always joke that I'm food disabled, but now I realize I am literally food disabled, ha ha.

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Hmmm...hopefully as progress comes they restaurants will be required to fully fulfill proper meals for Celiacs. I mean they provide ramps for wheelchairs... I'm also concerned about airports and flights because that is a highly limiting situation with no choices and I'm pretty sure airlines receive federal funding. Travel has been really hard for me, so I hope that one aspect changes.

 I love that this is considered a real disability! I always joke that I'm food disabled, but now I realize I am literally food disabled, ha ha.

That would be nice actually. I don't see actual restaurants being able to do this, too many risks. However, if there was a good section of food in airports that would be nice.

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That would be nice actually. I don't see actual restaurants being able to do this, too many risks. However, if there was a good section of food in airports that would be nice.

 

 

Some airports are stocking the GoPicnic boxes in the "gift shop".  Mostly the gluten-free ones and at least one vegan one (that's what GoPicinc told me the other day).

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Some airports are stocking the GoPicnic boxes in the "gift shop".  Mostly the gluten-free ones and at least one vegan one (that's what GoPicinc told me the other day).

I looked at those. Looks like a great option for some.

 

But other things as well, like salads, meats, and fruits. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just an area that was dedicated to it i guess.

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For disability status you must first file for the legal determination. Celiac with treatment does not qualify unless there was damage caused to a severity that does not allow a return to work within a year. Disability determination for adults has to do with ability to maintain a job. Excessive medical costs or inconvenience may be covered by state organizations such as Medicaid. 

If you have severe impairment caused by celiac disease and go through the process of disability determination (up to two or more years) it does not mean everyone has to accommodate your disease.

If you identify a situation where a company or organization could offer "reasonable accommodation" but refuses, you can hire an attorney who may be reimbursed if your claim is valid. Reasonable accommodation is that which does not put excessive physical or financial demands on the company or organization. In other words, small restaurants may not have financial means or physical space to add facilities for preparing foods while assuring no contamination and maintain the education of staff required. 

Because the resulting damage is the reason for disability determination, not the celiac disease causing that damage, you may get better results by advocating celiac issues rather than finding yourself at legal odds with a business or organization.

I'm not saying this is as it should be. 

My disability determination is much more definite and direct, my problems with mobility and sight are clearly spelled out, but I still have problems that are not addressed. I'm sorry, I wish I could offer a prettier picture.

You should look up all these terms at socialsecurity.gov. If you feel you might qualify most attorneys will offer a free consultation. If an attorney takes your case it will be because they believe you will win and they will only request payment from a judgment you receive.

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For disability status you must first file for the legal determination. Celiac with treatment does not qualify unless there was damage caused to a severity that does not allow a return to work within a year. Disability determination for adults has to do with ability to maintain a job. Excessive medical costs or inconvenience may be covered by state organizations such as Medicaid. 

If you have severe impairment caused by celiac disease and go through the process of disability determination (up to two or more years) it does not mean everyone has to accommodate your disease.

If you identify a situation where a company or organization could offer "reasonable accommodation" but refuses, you can hire an attorney who may be reimbursed if your claim is valid. Reasonable accommodation is that which does not put excessive physical or financial demands on the company or organization. In other words, small restaurants may not have financial means or physical space to add facilities for preparing foods while assuring no contamination and maintain the education of staff required. 

Because the resulting damage is the reason for disability determination, not the celiac disease causing that damage, you may get better results by advocating celiac issues rather than finding yourself at legal odds with a business or organization.

I'm not saying this is as it should be. 

My disability determination is much more definite and direct, my problems with mobility and sight are clearly spelled out, but I still have problems that are not addressed. I'm sorry, I wish I could offer a prettier picture.

You should look up all these terms at socialsecurity.gov. If you feel you might qualify most attorneys will offer a free consultation. If an attorney takes your case it will be because they believe you will win and they will only request payment from a judgment you receive.

 

 

i didn't think she was applying for disability payments.  Just the ADA protections.  That is how I took it, as she was asking about restaurants.

 

edited to add:  I know getting on disability is a real pain in the a$$.  I know a few people with very real disabilities who keep getting denied.  Then they show some idiot on Disability for a back injury,  movng furniture or chopping wood on the News!

Edited by kareng
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i didn't think she was applying for disability payments.  Just the ADA protections.  That is how I took it, as she was asking about restaurants.

I understand but those protections are only given to those with legal determinations. Children can be determined to have disability if their illness or injury is judged to prevent future ability to work, obtain education to work and of course for life threatening conditions.

It was not something I understood before my disability. For instance, lots of people have autoimmune diseases and continue to work. These people are only considered disabled when illness prevents any productive income and there is not medical expectation of a return within at least a year.

Medical limitations are the basis of disability but "Disability" is a legal status, along with legal protections.

But please don't take only my word for it. Research the website. :) 

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Not trying to argue, but there have been several articles on here about how the ADA works for GI illness and reasonable accomadations.  Mainly, this has been legally applied to schools and the recent ruling against a college that refused to serve safe food for students, forced to buy a meal plan,who have Celiac and food allergies. 

 

Wheelchair ramps are for all people in chairs or with walkers, etc, even the ones not on disability.  ADA covers people who are not on disability and want to work. (as well as people who recieve Disability payments and other goverment aid). A person in a wheelchair, as an example, could easiliy be a computer programer but needs some "reasonable accomadations".  Things like an office doorway that is wide enough , a desk a wheelchair can pull up to, etc.

 

I think we are talking about 2 different things here. 

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I understand and I'm not trying to be discouraging but I have found real world application of the law is not uniform. I don't doubt your statement of recent rulings but to obtain that ruling someone had to go through the process I described, identify a problem and go through the legal hurdles to resolve it.

Everyone who is wheelchair bound, either from illness or injury, either has or is in the process of getting a determination of legal disability but even then, all buildings are not required to be accessible. I know, I live in one, so I am allowed to have mobility devices installed in my building but I have to pay for the installation.

If someone uses a wheelchair or uses a white cane their disability is more visible to others. Those of us who have less visible disability are asked to prove those limitations. Again, please don't take my word, do your own research. I'm only saying how these things happen in actual situations so anyone who thinks they need to follow this road can do that with the information they need.

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This is interesting.  I'm trying to get my cafeteria at work to start making some gluten-free options available.  Technically, they're available now (salads, baked potatoes, etc.), but no care is taken to prevent or lessen the chance of cross contamination so I rarely eat there since my diagnosis.  I've considered raising the threat of ADA action with them to get them to do something.  I'll be watching this for ideas.

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This is interesting.  I'm trying to get my cafeteria at work to start making some gluten-free options available.  Technically, they're available now (salads, baked potatoes, etc.), but no care is taken to prevent or lessen the chance of cross contamination so I rarely eat there since my diagnosis.  I've considered raising the threat of ADA action with them to get them to do something.  I'll be watching this for ideas.

Go to human resources and mention ADA. See the look of dread and terror or annoyance that will spread across their face.

But, you can bring a lunch? Them providing a safe lunch isn't really a requirement to help you do your job.

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Go to human resources and mention ADA. See the look of dread and terror or annoyance that will spread across their face.

But, you can bring a lunch? Them providing a safe lunch isn't really a requirement to help you do your job.

Thanks  - yes, I'm hoping to resolve this without HR, but I'll go to them if I can't.  I believe I'm the only person with Celiac in the company, but a very senior exec is following the SCD so I might enlist help from him (I'm pretty sure his meals are prepared privately - I'm just lowly middle management).

 

I've been bringing my lunch most of the time, but we have many impromptu lunch meetings in the cafeteria and it would be nice to be able to eat something so I don't end up derailng the agenda with discussions about Celiac.  

 

I'm confident I'll talk them into doing something.  It's just going to take some time and a few well-placed threats.

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Thanks  - yes, I'm hoping to resolve this without HR, but I'll go to them if I can't.  I believe I'm the only person with Celiac in the company, but a very senior exec is following the SCD so I might enlist help from him (I'm pretty sure his meals are prepared privately - I'm just lowly middle management).

 

I've been bringing my lunch most of the time, but we have many impromptu lunch meetings in the cafeteria and it would be nice to be able to eat something so I don't end up derailng the agenda with discussions about Celiac.  

 

I'm confident I'll talk them into doing something.  It's just going to take some time and a few well-placed threats.

Oh I see this as solvable. In your case (if it were me) and I could not get any consideration, I would find a way to gently urge the discussion toward diversity in the workplace. I get the sense they may be way ahead of you but embrace the agenda derailment just a bit and subtly.

Your point is at least as strong when looking at it as a discriminatory issue as a disability issue and maybe stronger. Your company is large enough to have a cafeteria and HR department and since you describe yourself as middle management I'm guessing there are more than 100 employees. That puts your company in a category of having greater responsibility to accommodate varying employee needs.

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I registered with my universitie's students with dissabilities office for protection. My department was insane and I actually had a professor ask me if I should be in our area of study given that I was asking how to bring up my Celiac with my internship. It helped because I had someone to talk to about my trials around dealing with my professors incase anything came up. Luckily that was the worst of it. I was worried most of all of getting sick during class and needing to leave possibly in the middle of something important (like a test or presentation). Luckily I made it through all 3 years of classes. I only had a few problems at my internship where I had to leave for a short period of time to get more Imodium as I had run out of what I had with me. :mellow:  My internship was actually really awesome about it.

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