Disability Questions or Complaints

Learn how to address technical questions or complaints you may have about civil rights and seeking reasonable accommodations for food allergies.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations (e.g., restaurants, hotels, theaters, retail stores, museums, libraries), commercial facilities (e.g., privately- owned office building, factories, warehouses), and transportation (with the exception of commercial airplanes, which are covered under the Air Carrier Access Act).

Under the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, eating and breathing, and affect your heart and circulatory system, eating and your digestive system, breathing and your respiratory system, and more. All of these life activities are at risk for a person with a life-threatening food allergy. For more information about food allergies and the ADA, FARE offers several webinars on the topic. The ADA also offers a page of resources.

With laws in place to protect students with food allergies and ensure they have a safe and inclusive environment in the school setting, FARE strongly encourages parents of children with food allergies to understand know how to best advocate for necessary accommodations.

Several resources are available for helping parents, educators, administrators and healthcare professionals understand the laws in place for protecting the rights of students with food allergies. These can be found on our website in our Back to School Headquarters.

As a patient advocacy organization, FARE works to provide helpful information to parents and school personnel about how to support students with food allergies and their need access their education safely and inclusively. It is important to note, however, that FARE is not an oversight organization, and we are unable to enforce compliance with Section 504 or ADA, or intervene in individual cases.

If you are in need of civil rights or disability accommodation assistance, have a technical question about these disability laws, or wish to file a complaint, we advise you to contact the appropriate governing organization.

For public, federally funded schools:

For private institutions (including daycare centers and colleges)