Arkansas Department of Education Guidance Related to the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and Implications to Child Nutrition Programs

Memo Information

Memo Number
FIN-15-045
Memo Date
11/14/2014
Memo Type
Regulatory
Section
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
§42 U.S.C. § 12102 (Pub. L. 110-325), Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008); Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1758 (a), Section 9(a)
Response Required
NO
Attention
Elementary Principals; Middle School Principals; High School Principals; Superintendents; Child Nutrition Directors

Contact Information

Memo Text

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 amended the Federal definition of disability, broadening the list of “major life activities” for the purposes of identifying individuals with disabilities and added a new category called “major bodily functions,” thus now covering additional individuals.  Because of this broader definition, it is reasonable to expect that Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators may see more students identified by physicians as having a food-related disability than were identified previously.  Identified “major life activities” include:  caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.  “Major bodily functions” include functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine and reproductive functions.  Additionally, individuals who take mitigating measures to improve or control any of the conditions recognized as a disability are considered to have a disability and require an accommodation. The PROCESS of identifying students with disabilities requiring an accommodation has NOT changed.  CNP operators must continue to require participants seeking an accommodation for a food-related disability to provide a statement from a licensed physician identifying the food-related disability and indicating the required meal accommodation.  The “Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in the School Nutrition Programs, Guidance for School Food Service Staff” will be updated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to reflect the broadened definition of disabilities. Attachment:  Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in the School Nutrition Programs, Guidance for School Food Service Staff