Celiac.com 04/10/2019 - With more universities under pressure to provide for students with food allergies and sensitivities, it’s little wonder that students who feel that schools are falling short are pressing the matter legally. That often means filing a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to prompt a settlement.
Most recently, Rider University agreed to make changes to its dining options to accommodate students with food allergy-related disabilities after a former student filed a complaint claiming violations of the ADA, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
On the positive side, Carpenito said that, from the onset, “Rider University has worked cooperatively to develop and amend its policies and practices to comply with the ADA."
Under the agreement Rider University will create its own policies for students with food allergy-related disabilities, rather than relying on third-party food service vendors. Rider will create dedicated allergen-free food preparation areas in its dining facilities, and employ a full-time dietician to address food allergy-related disability issues. Lastly, Rider will create a "pre-order" option for students with food allergies.
Rider spokeswoman, Kristine Brown, says that the school has gone beyond the terms of the agreement to open a new, allergen-free food-preparation station that will serve food free of the eight major food allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, wheat and soy. The food at the station is also gluten-free, Brown said.
Anyone who believes they have been wrongly discriminated against may file a complaint with the U.S Attorney's Office at justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement/complaint or call the U.S. Attorney's Office's Civil Rights Complaint Hotline at 855-281-3339.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at ada.gov, or by calling the Department of Justice's toll-free information line at 800-514-0301 and 800-514-0383 (TDD).
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