Accomodating children with special
SFAs and local educational agencies (LEA) should not be involved in analyzing documentation to determine whether a particular physical or mental impairment is severe enough to qualify as a disability.
The ADA Amendments Act amended the definition of disability, broadening it to cover most physical and mental impairments, and the goal is to ensure equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the SNPs.
The USDA will issue separate guidance on accommodating special dietary needs and preferences that are not considered a disability.
The California Department of Education (CDE) MB CNP-10-2015, Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs, remains in effect for the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program until further guidance is issued.
Major life activities also include the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
A physical or mental impairment does not need to result in a severe, life-threatening reaction to be considered a disability.
However, the needs of a child with a disability may involve requests for accommodations that do not meet the meal pattern requirements.
SFAs are required to make substitutions to meals for children with a disability that restricts the child’s diet on a case-by-case basis and only when supported by a written medical statement from a state licensed healthcare professional.
An IEP does not supersede a state licensed healthcare professional’s written medical statement.
The CDE only permits the following state licensed healthcare professionals to complete and sign a written medical statement for a disability: licensed physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners.
California does not recognize other medical authorities as authorized to sign a written medical statement to determine a child’s diet.
These regulations require SFAs to ensure that breakfast, lunch, snacks, or milk (meals) offered through the SNPs meet the respective meal pattern requirements established in the program regulations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act has simplified what determines a disability and it should no longer require extensive analysis.