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Is A Food Allergy A 'legitimate' Disability? - Celiac.com

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:12 AM


Is a Food Allergy a 'Legitimate' Disability?
Celiac.com 02/08/2013 - In an article for Fox News, Hans von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, ridicules the idea that the Department of Justice (DoJ) should use its weight to force colleges and universities to ...

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

I left a longer comment under that, but it is not showing up.

Von Spakovsky is completely off the wall here and omits key scientific and medical information about celiac disease, which does not act the same way as a severe food allergy, which can cause an immediate and life threatening reaction. The speed of the reaction to gluten proteins in celiac disease, and its role in auto immune disease, does not have anything to do with whether or not it is a scientifically explainable, truly verifiable medical condition which causes life altering behaviors.

He further ignores that a celiac auto immune reaction can be severe enough to cause a student to not be able to attend classes. Colleges take Federal funding and colleges make rules which can include mandatory payment of room and board, and mandatory payment of cafeteria meal ticket plans, for students, typically those beginning a course of study (freshmen and sophomores). If a college mandates students purchase meal plans as a condition of admission to a course of study on campus, and then does not provide food the student purchaser CAN eat (from a medical and scientific viewpoint) and then be well enough to attend classes, THAT IS DISCRIMINATION.

Von Spakovsky further does an odd thing and complains about the most logical, inexpensive, and easiest solution for the college to comply with the DOJ's enforcement of the ADA rules: student autonomy, i.e., the college allows self- service food prep in a small, dedicated safe area provided on campus grounds provided with a sink, microwave, stovetop, and refrigerator. He also complains about students being able to pre - oder meals so the student cafeteria food service can order and prepare allergen free meals as provided on the menu.... how does he think professional food service works. This is bordering on farce, but I think he is serious in that he does not understand that a College using Federal funds cannot force students to purchase Federally subsidized food commodities, which the college then cooks and serves to them, which make them physically sick if they eat it. The college decides to offer an alternative which allows free will.... That is NOT the dreaded "nanny state" creep von Spakovsky is complaining about. The assumption (see first paragraph in link) that certain minorities, as defined by law and culture, cannot and do not suffer food allergies and food related auto immune food reactions from von Spakovsky, of all people, is especially ironic, not to mention, totally false.
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