Meal Plan Accommodations
Wheaton College is deeply committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of College life, including the dining experience. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Wheaton has established procedures to ensure that students with documented disabilities have access to meal plan accommodations that reasonably meet their needs as required by law. According to the ADA, a disability is defined as any mental or physical impairment that substantially limits the individual in a major life activity compared to the average person. There must also be a legitimate connection between the disability and the requested accommodation. Students must abide by these procedures and provide all of the required information before a request for accommodation can be considered.
As a residential college, Wheaton requires that all students living on campus participate in the meal plan available through the College's Dining Services. Virtually all students’ needs can be met through the standard meal plan options. However, students with conditions whose needs cannot be met through this process may request a meal plan accommodation.
Wheaton’s Dining Services offers a wide variety of dining options capable of accommodating many different dietary needs, including allergies/intolerances and chronic health conditions. We recognize that students with special dietary needs already experience a more limited diet than those who do not, and are required to exert more time and effort in managing their diet than others; thus, every effort is made to provide helpful information to students who have to manage their diet when eating in the dining halls.For this reason, we encourage students to meet with the Director of Dining Services and/or Executive Chef first to inquire about all of the dining options before pursuing a meal plan accommodation. The goal of this process is to provide students the tools that they need to be active in the management of their allergy or food-related medical condition within the residential dining program. A registered dietician is also available to consult with students as needed; however, a physician’s letter outlining the dietary needs must be provided in order to ensure appropriate consultation. Please call Dining Services at 508-286-8209 for more information on available options or to set up an appointment.
All meal plan accommodation requests are determined on a case-by-case basis, according to documented need, and applicable standards for reasonable accommodations. Given the ability to accommodate a wide range of dietary needs, an exemption from participation in the meal plan is rare and will only be considered when needs cannot be met by Dining Services. Requests for meal plan exemptions based on dietary preferences or for financial reasons will not be granted. Billing credits for exemptions granted after the board plan begins each semester will be credited on a pro-rata basis determined by the date the exemption is approved.
Procedures for Requesting a Meal Plan Accommodation
- If you are requesting a meal plan exemption for a disability-related condition, you must first register with Disability Services by completing an online Registration Form. Additionally, you must schedule a meeting with Eileen Bellemore, Coordinator of Disability Services, at (508) 286-8215 to complete an intake interview. Students already receiving accommodations through Disability Services do not have to re-register.
- Print out and submit the Meal Plan Accommodation Request Form: Physician to your health care provider for completion. Please note that all documentation must be translated into English. Forward the completed form to the Office of Disability Services:
- Fax: 508-286-5621
- Email: Bellemore_eileen@wheatoncollege.edu
- Mail: Office of Disability Services Wheaton College Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services 26 E. Main Street Norton MA 02766
- In person: Schedule an appointment, by calling (508)-286-8215
Meal Plan Accommodation Request Deadlines
Deadlines were established to allow application review and accommodation considerations prior to the start of the semester. Students are advised to begin the process early to allow adequate time to obtain the necessary documentation. Keep in mind that efforts to obtain documentation from a health care provider often require advanced notice and may take several days to several weeks to prepare. Students must request meal plan accommodations annually.
2014-2015 APPLICATION DEADLINES
In order to ensure that your request is processed in a timely manner, please submit all of the materials to the Office of Disability Services by the following dates:
|Fall 2014||July 23, 2014|
|Spring 2015||December 17, 2014|
While applications submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, Wheaton College cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ accommodation needs, including any needs that develop during the semester.
Committee Review and Decisions
Requests for meal plan accommodations are reviewed by the Meal Plan Accommodation Committee. Committee members include representatives from Dining Services, Residential Life, Disability Services and Health Services. The Committee meets on the second Thursday of every month to review requests. All forms and documentation must be submitted at least 3 days prior (by Monday) to the monthly committee meeting. Students are informed of the Committee’s decision by email within one week of the Committee’s review.
Students who are not granted a meal plan accommodation or exemption through this process have the right to appeal the Committee’s decision. All requests for appeal are reviewed by Dean Denyse Wilhelm, ADA/504 Coordinator. Grievance Policy