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Getting Gluten-Free Accommodations on Campus

No matter how long you have been living gluten-free, you’re likely to be anxious about going off to college. Fear not! Beyond Celiac has the resources you need to gear up for the school year ahead.

Gluten-Free Campus Accommodations

In some cases, students with celiac disease can be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In December 2012, a lawsuit filed against Lesley University set a precedent for college students living with celiac disease. Essentially, gluten-free students were being denied accommodations for their special diets and were unable to opt-out of the mandatory meal plan. The case was sent to the US Department of Justice, who ruled that Lesley University must make reasonable accommodations for students.

While this case is not a law that all colleges and universities must follow, it provides great guidelines for other schools to follow. Among other things, here’s what the Lesley University settlement agreement required:

  • Provide gluten-free and allergen-free food options in its dining hall food lines in addition to its standard meal options
  • Allow students with known allergies to pre-order allergen-free meals
  • Display notices concerning food allergies and identify foods containing specific allergens
  • Train food service and university staff about food allergy-related issues
  • Provide a dedicated space in its main dining hall to store and prepare gluten-free and allergen-free foods
  • Work to retain vendors that accept students’ prepaid meal cards that also offer food without allergens.

These agreements can serve as suggestions when you speak to a food service director or other authority on your campus.

Gluten-Free Students Aren’t Alone in their Search for Safe Options

Two surveys show that gluten-free students are not confident in the accommodations (or lack of accommodations) being made for them at school. Check out the infographic through the link below.

A printable PDF version is available for you to share with your food service director should you find sharing these statistics helpful in your discussions about accommodations.

infographic icon Infographic: Serving Gluten-Free Students: Two Surveys Find America’s Colleges Still Need Better Solutions

Understanding Safe Gluten-Free Food Preparation: GREAT Schools, Colleges and Camps

Beyond Celiac is proud to offer an online gluten-free training program to foodservice professionals. The course, GREAT Schools, Colleges and Camps, gives comprehensive information about celiac disease management through the gluten-free diet. From ingredient sourcing to preparation practices, GREAT Schools has all the tools foodservice employees need to make sure that your food is truly free from gluten.

When speaking with your college campus about gluten-free accommodations, Beyond Celiac strongly recommends suggesting GREAT Schools. You’ll be able to rest easier knowing that your needs are truly understood. Plus, with celiac disease affecting 1 in 133 Americans and many others living with gluten-related disorders, this training is bound to benefit more than just one student.

download icon Download: Print this GREAT Schools, Colleges and Camps informational sheet to share with your food service director.
infographic icon Infographic: America’s Universities Receive Poor Grades on the Subject of Gluten-Free

Note: At the time this infographic was created, Beyond Celiac was known as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Learn more about the name change here.

Visit www.greatGFkitchens.org for more information about GREAT Schools and its sister program, GREAT Kitchens.

Additional Information

Beyond Celiac compiled top resources in one place so you can feel more prepared for your gluten-free college experience.

download icon Download: Beyond Celiac Gluten-Free in College Toolkit

Parents, there’s great information for you, too!


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