University food service personnel have asked for an amendment to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include food allergies as an official learning disability.
Margot Eckers, director of cafeteria services at St. Libertine College, is a proponent of the amendment. “Some students with allergies are fine, but we deal with dozens who seem to lose all problem-solving acumen and self-advocacy.” Eckers says her staff provides numerous allergy-friendly food options for each meal, but she still receives daily appeals from students who wish to break their mandatory meal contracts. “I try to coach them through their many options,” said Eckers, “but their moms call to scream at me and the students cry when they don’t love every meal.”
Initial government reactions are not positive about the change. “There is a fine line between ‘spoiled’ and ‘disability,’” said ADA administrator Gloria Lipscomb. “We will have to take a careful look at these food allergies to see whether they require accommodations. This quasi-retardation phenomenon could just be a consequence of these Generation Y scamps.”