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Information on Accommodations to School Meals for Students with a Medical Disability

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) must provide reasonable accommodations for students with medical disabilities.

The Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR, Part 15b) defines a person with a disability as (1) having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and (2) having a record or is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.

Schools may also provide accommodations for special medical or dietary needs that restrict a student’s diet but are not considered a medical disability.

For an NSLP or SBP site to provide a meal accommodation for a student with a medical disability, the parent or guardian must provide a medical statement signed by medical authority who is licensed by the State to write prescriptions. For this purpose, State is defined as the State of Texas. Any medical authority whose prescription is allowed to be filled by a pharmacy located in Texas under Texas law and regulation may provide a medical statement for a meal accommodation.

The medical statement must include the following information in order for the CE to make the meal accommodation:

1. Statement explaining the student’s medical disability which includes a description that is sufficient to allow the school to understand how this condition restricts the student’s diet

2. Description of the accommodation to be made: food items or ingredients to be omitted, food items ingredients to be substituted, modified food texture, and/or other accommodation

If the medical statement requires substitutions, the medical statement should include a list of food or beverage items that are appropriate substitutions. Also note, a school is not required to provide a name brand product if another product with the same specifications is available.

If the licensed medical authority does not provide a medical statement that includes the information listed above, the school cannot make a meal accommodation.

When a school believes the medical statement is unclear or lacks sufficient detail, the school must request appropriate clarification so that a proper and safe meal can be provided. When clarification is provided, any changes to the medical statement must be provided in writing before the school implements the changes.

First page of the PDF file: Accommodation_Form_MedicalStatement_20082711