Dining Accommodations

Dining Accommodations support your dietary needs. Examples may be modifications to the on-campus meal plan or allergy management.

Dining Accommodation Guidelines

The information that you provide regarding any need for accommodation(s) will be shared only with those individuals involved in the coordination and facilitation of services and accommodations that are required to make our programs accessible to you.

All students who live in residence halls at Luther College are required to select a dining meal plan for each academic term in residence.

Learn more about Luther’s Dining Services

Please note that exemptions from the meal plan are rare. They are made solely on documented health conditions that require special diets that cannot be accommodated by the college’s dining services provider. If you are requesting a release from the meal plan requirement, you should be aware that dietary restrictions do not always constitute a valid reason for cancelling your meal plan contract.

Lastly, as shown below below, the process for dining accommodation requests are more lengthy than other accommodation request types. The Dining Accommodations Process will also be used for specific housing accommodation requests (i.e. specific food appliances/equipment stored in dorm room to be used in dorm kitchens, housing with separate kitchen) to determine what is considered a reasonable request for the residential campus. Please note that these requests do take longer than other types of accommodation requests. The process may take more than 60 business days from the initial request to the finished result to be completed.

Dining Accommodations for Medical Reasons

Food allergies may constitute a disability and reasonable accommodations related to the meal plan may be possible. If seeking a dining accommodation for medical reasons, such as food allergies or other disabilities related to eating on campus, students must submit a request and documentation that supports the requested accommodation to Disability Services.

Guidelines for dining accommodation requests are as follows:

  • March 1 for current students for the fall semester
  • December 1 for current students for the spring semester
  • July 15 for incoming new and first-year students for fall semester

Dining Services provides dietary accommodations to students with medically-indicated special diets that are difficult to self-manage. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate a dietary accommodation request so disability services can determine what is a reasonable accommodation based on additional documentation. The student is required to follow the steps below and meet with the Dining Dietitian to complete the request.

  1. Complete the Dining Accommodation Request Form
  2. Meet with a representative from Disability Services about your request
  3. Luther College Dining Accommodation Request Form should be submitted to disabilityservices@luther.edu or faxed to 563-387-1411. Submit the form and supporting documentation from a qualified, licensed medical provider to assist in determining how to proceed with your dietary accommodation request.
  4. Disability Services staff will review the documentation sent from your medical provider
  5. If Disability Services staff determine enough information has been provided to move forward in the dining accommodations process, Disability Services staff will connect with the Campus Dietician, Anne Blocker to share a student will be reaching out to her. Disability Services staff will inform the student they will need to connect with Anne Blocker before the process can move forward.  The student and Anne Blocker will meet to conduct an assessment based on the barriers the student is having with the dining services on campus.  Additionally, education may take place as part of these meetings regarding how to navigate the dietary needs.  More than one meeting with Anne Blocker will more than likely be necessary in order to determine if, and how a change in a meal plan and possible housing accommodations are reasonable accommodations based on the barriers presented with the disability.
  6. After the student meets with the Campus Nutrition or the Dining Services representative, they (Campus Nutrition or Dining Services representative) will send their recommendations for accommodation back to Disability Services.
  7. Disability Services Staff will review all of the documentation from the entire interactive process a final time and determine what is a reasonable accommodation due to the barriers the student is facing from their disability. Disability Services will then provide the accommodation request to the necessary staff on campus.

Dining Accommodations Documentation

The following questions should be answered in the provider documentation:

  • What is the problem/diagnosis?
  • How was the condition assessed?
  • What date(s) was the assessment/treatment provided?
  • What is the history? How long has this been going on?
  • How long will it continue?
  • How does the condition manifest?
  • What aggravates the condition?
  • What food items need to be avoided for health reasons?
  • What makes the condition better?