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diannalynn0711

Celiac Disease A Ada Disability?

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Hi all,

I am in college here in Ohio. The college I am attending decided last year at the end of the year that they were no longer going to be able to accommodate me on campus. I found the cheapest apartment I could and now that the new semester is coming I am totally out of money because I dont make enough money from my job to pay my bills. I am working 33 hours a week right now but once college starts I wont be able to work that much because I am a double major that is graduating early. Well because I can not pay my bills now with 33 hours a week I know I am not going to be able to pay them with maybe 20 hours a week when school starts. I asked the college if they would approve for me to take out an additional loan to pay for my living expenses. They denied my request. So now my question is.... Does the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) cover Celiac Disease as a disability? I am hoping that maybe someone in the government can help me. I dont want to have to move back home because I can not pay my bills and I already checked and my credits will not transfer back home. So I would basically lose all the money I have in my education, which is almost 33,000 a year. I know that seems high it is a private college. The professors and all are great but the financial aid dept sucks! I hope someone can answer this question for me! I really dont know what else to do.... If anyone else has any ideas or experience please let me know. I also have tried for outside loans that do not go through the school and I was denied and my co-signers were denied. I have applied for other jobs but right now the town I am in is going under because our dealers are closing because of GM and our GM plant is closing.

Thanks ahead of time!

Diannalynn

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Hi all,

I am in college here in Ohio. The college I am attending decided last year at the end of the year that they were no longer going to be able to accommodate me on campus. I found the cheapest apartment I could and now that the new semester is coming I am totally out of money because I dont make enough money from my job to pay my bills. I am working 33 hours a week right now but once college starts I wont be able to work that much because I am a double major that is graduating early. Well because I can not pay my bills now with 33 hours a week I know I am not going to be able to pay them with maybe 20 hours a week when school starts. I asked the college if they would approve for me to take out an additional loan to pay for my living expenses. They denied my request. So now my question is.... Does the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) cover Celiac Disease as a disability? I am hoping that maybe someone in the government can help me. I dont want to have to move back home because I can not pay my bills and I already checked and my credits will not transfer back home. So I would basically lose all the money I have in my education, which is almost 33,000 a year. I know that seems high it is a private college. The professors and all are great but the financial aid dept sucks! I hope someone can answer this question for me! I really dont know what else to do.... If anyone else has any ideas or experience please let me know. I also have tried for outside loans that do not go through the school and I was denied and my co-signers were denied. I have applied for other jobs but right now the town I am in is going under because our dealers are closing because of GM and our GM plant is closing.

Thanks ahead of time!

Diannalynn

I am curious too as I was denied a TA position because of "health concerns."

Chuck

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Yes, it is covered by the ADA. Though lawyers to enforce that might be expensive.

I'm surprised you couldn't get a private loan. I had one (my undergrad was also ~32k/yr), and had no trouble getting approved. It was, specifically, however, a private student loan, not a random "go to the bank, ask for a 10k loan". Have you tried working closely with the financial aid office?

(That said, they do have to cover you. Of course, I did most of my own cooking in the dorms anyway - you can cook almost anything in an electric skillet. :P)

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Yes, it is covered by the ADA. Though lawyers to enforce that might be expensive.

I'm surprised you couldn't get a private loan. I had one (my undergrad was also ~32k/yr), and had no trouble getting approved. It was, specifically, however, a private student loan, not a random "go to the bank, ask for a 10k loan". Have you tried working closely with the financial aid office?

(That said, they do have to cover you. Of course, I did most of my own cooking in the dorms anyway - you can cook almost anything in an electric skillet. :P)

I have tried to work with the college. They asked me to move off campus because they did not allow my fridge, they only allowed a small fridge not one with a freezer and they did not allow my microwave that was also a convection oven. They also tried to put me in a room that is the size of my bathroom which only had a walkway around the bed and I would not have been able to keep my appliances to be able to cook for myself and the cafe will not accommodate me. It has been nothing but a hassle. I applied for special circumstances through them and even had my doctor write a letter for me. They approved for my parents to take out a loan, but the PLUS loan only gave us $6,000 a year. My bills are $14,000 a year and this is the cheapest place in town I could find. Doesnt help that the economy is crashing in this area. I even tried to apply for a loan from Wells Fargo and they said I needed a cosigner well I had 5 people try to cosign, which is my whole family I have no one else, and everyone was denied. The other loans that I tried to apply for have to go through the college, most companies have gone to this method I found out. The college will not approve me getting another loan because my tuition is paid and they believe $6,000 should pay for my housing. It doesnt :( I also tried to apply for state aid, the lady at the food stamps office told me to get pregnant then they would help me and I would qualify. She had me in tears she was so mean and degrading to me. This is only temporary. I am graduating in 3 semesters, a year early and I just need help until I can apply for my career position.

If you know of any lenders that still do loans that arent through the school please let me know! That would be a great help. I really would like to finish college and stay out of the hospital as much as possible. As it is I cant afford to feed myself the proper amount of meals a day :( Which means my sugar is all out of wack and I keep passing out, which is not fun.

Something has to give here! I just want to be able to breathe! :(

Thanks for your help! Im so lost here and only being 21 I do not know where all to turn.

Diannalynn

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I don't know the exact answer to your question, only a direction to head you. Most universities have an ADA compliance office/ officer. Otherwise, where I would start is with the office of civil rights at the Dept. of ED. 1-800-421-3481. Mediation of some sort should be possible, there is a difference between room and board. Most places will want to avoid a civil rights complaint.

Third party loans are very hard to come by right now, you've been caught in the change of politics unfortunately. I'd do some web searches to look at what experts are advising (don't get snared by some off the wall gimmick - stick to experts).

A TA position might fall under the same. Although why you would be denied on that basis is truly strange.

As for regular employment, it would be the same, the office of civil rights with the Dept of Labor. I don't know how to contact them. And part of this is dependent on how functional these offices have become in recent months.

Good luck.

Ivy

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I'm not from Ohio but I would go back to the assistance office & speak to another person! I don't see why you cannot get food stamps....

Also catholic charities & groups like that usually help with one time donations.

If all else fails call your state representatives & jerk, whine & complain until someone hears you.

Could a family member secure a small loan for you in their own name. I know you menyioned co-signing but having a parent sign for a loan instead.

With only three semesters left you may have to drag them out a little longer than you hoped but that way you could work more & still take a few classes.

Not Ideal but it would work.

blessings

mamaw

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Do you have a home church? You can go to a local church and reach out to them. Explain your situation to the pastor. When an area is depressed like yours is, there are many people who need extra money and in a church they also want to help people. There are probably retired folks or layed off folks who would rent to you for a small fee. Explain to the pastor what would be an ideal amount for you to pay. Some would do it to help a struggling student. Explain also your special needs. They might also appreciate a little house cleaning in exchange for helping you. The worst that could happen is that they tell you no; you wouldn't be any worse off than you are now. And you never know, it could solve your problem and someone else's problem too.

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I don't know the exact answer to your question, only a direction to head you. Most universities have an ADA compliance office/ officer. Otherwise, where I would start is with the office of civil rights at the Dept. of ED. 1-800-421-3481. Mediation of some sort should be possible, there is a difference between room and board. Most places will want to avoid a civil rights complaint.

Third party loans are very hard to come by right now, you've been caught in the change of politics unfortunately. I'd do some web searches to look at what experts are advising (don't get snared by some off the wall gimmick - stick to experts).

A TA position might fall under the same. Although why you would be denied on that basis is truly strange.

As for regular employment, it would be the same, the office of civil rights with the Dept of Labor. I don't know how to contact them. And part of this is dependent on how functional these offices have become in recent months.

Good luck.

Ivy

I was denied because I was up front with them about the fact that my performance abilities (But certainly not my teaching abilities... I have been maintaining a private studio throughout all of this ordeal) had been compromised because of the nature of late stage celiac. I was unwilling to take on new performance contracts because I didn't want to make it clear as to why I should not have been singing. Thing is I was significantly better when I did my department audition and they were quite enthused to have me there as a TA. Then, later when I talked to the department head she hemmed and hawed and said that because of, you know, your health issues, we feel it necessary to wait a while to see how you are doing.

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It is considered a disability (this is how parents can get safe school lunches for their kids.) Many people on this board are drawing social security disability.

There is also a staggering number of people on this board who are determined that it is not a disability. I believe these folks are in some kind of denial stage of the disease.

You should be able to go to your Affirmative Action Office and get some recourse. I wish you the best of luck.

I did the TA thing in graduate school and I found ti invaluable in preparing me to teach later on.

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Oh, this is awful and I'm so sorry to hear it.

I teach at a private college & I have celiac. My advice is to make an appointment with the Dean of Students at your college RIGHT AWAY if you haven't talked to him/her already and go in and tell him/her the entire story.

Bring the names of the people you've already talked to at the college, any documents you have (like your doctor's note, and the letters declining additional financial aid) and write out the story of what they've said to you in the past. The reason I suggest bringing all of this, and writing it down, is that I know from experience that it can be really stressful and hard to talk with people when you're at the end of your rope. That way you can look down at your notes and show the documents to the dean, etc.

Most private schools will move heaven and earth to help a student - but you need to find the people with the actual power, not the people who are stuck in the details of the rules. Someone like the Dean of Students/even the College President can sometimes override and find accommodations where a strict interpretation of the rules wouldn't work.

They might or might not be able to find you actual cash - that might just be impossible right now - but they might be able to come up with all kinds of other suggestions for keeping you at school or figuring out other possibilities. Unfortunately, sh** happens to students all the time (I'm not meaning to minimize your awful situation at all) and the Dean of Students, etc have to deal with it. They have experience and training.

The other thing is if you're at an accredited school (and at $33k, I seriously hope you are!) you *should* be able to find places that will accept some kind of transfer credits. Also, would your current institution accept transfer credits from the college/univ. near your family? Like if you moved home w/ family for a while and took classes and then transferred the credits back to your current school? I did this for my last 3 classes so I could graduate early. Ask the dean about this as well.

If they say "I don't know" ask them - who would know? who can I talk with? Tell them that you love it there and that you really, really want to make this work.

I don't know if this helps - I want so much to help! I'm shocked that they won't accommodate you in a dining hall. Ours here does gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and even works with students keeping kosher (which can be even harder than gluten-free).

Good luck!!

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Thank you everyone for all your help and stories. I actually called the ADA and they assigned me a caseworker. The college is accredited they are rated one of the best colleges in the US. Its just not all the people at the college are the greatest. I am also fighting with them because I have a issue with broken bones.... in high school I played sports until I was breaking at least 3 bones a year. The doctors told me I had to quit or I would cause irreversible damage. Well now the college is trying to make me take a class when I have to play basketball and dodge ball. I know for sure I will break bones and my doctor is freaking out about it and says she will write me a letter but the college isnt flexing there either. I actually talked to the dean and told her the issue. I am a 4.0 double major... definitely 1 of 6 people in my graduating class that is carrying such grades. Im so exhausted with it all to be honest to fight anymore. Im thinking that Im going to get a job at the state prison while I finish school so I can pay my bills. I have faith that everything will work out and Ill just keep trying to deal with the college. I wont give up.

The colleges back home are all community colleges so they wont transfer because they arent accredited. That is my issue there. The closest college to my home is 2.5 hours away. It will all work out Im sure in the long run.

I did not know that it was an issue that you could receive SSD for though, I know everyone keeps asking why I am not receiving benefits..... I didnt think about that, but also I dont want to be disabled then not be able to have my career. I am determined to accomplish my goals....

I really appreciate all the help and stories! It helps to have someone that knows what you are going thru to talk to about things...

Diannalynn

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It is considered a disability (this is how parents can get safe school lunches for their kids.) Many people on this board are drawing social security disability.

There is also a staggering number of people on this board who are determined that it is not a disability. I believe these folks are in some kind of denial stage of the disease.

You should be able to go to your Affirmative Action Office and get some recourse. I wish you the best of luck.

I did the TA thing in graduate school and I found ti invaluable in preparing me to teach later on.

I heard that celiacs were not eligable for ss disability. Any one on it for celiacs? Can anyone clarify that for me? I hope you get your problems solved and resume your schooling.

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