The Office of Disability Services is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student registered in the office is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law. We recognize information/documentation regarding students as CONFIDENTIAL. No confidential information will be released by ODS unless the student provides written permission. We also adhere to FERPA, (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) where college students are considered adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them.
Who Has Access to Your Information?
No one has immediate access to student files except the Office of Disability Services staff. To protect confidentiality by ensuring limited access, all disability-related information should be filed with the Office of Disability Services.
Any information regarding a disability is considered confidential and only shared within the University when there is a legitimate reason. Information about your disability will not be disclosed to individuals outside of the University without your written permission unless required by law or on a need-to-know basis.
Information that is disclosed on your behalf is done with your written permission. Only general information related to services, policies, and procedures will be given to your parents or guardians without your permission in the form of a personally signed release of information.
Letters Approving Accommodations
On a semester-by-semester basis, as you request, your Disability Specialist will write letters approving accommodations based upon your approved documented functional limitations.
These letters will describe to your professors the accommodations approved for your disability but will not disclose the nature of your disability. The letter instructs the professor not to ask you about the nature of your disability. Whether or not to disclose the nature of your disability is your decision. You are responsible for delivering the letters to your professors in a timely, confidential manner.
University faculty and staff do not have a right or a need to access diagnostic or other information regarding your disability. However, faculty and instructors do need to know what accommodations are necessary or appropriate to meet your disability-related needs.
It is important to realize that you must request letters approving accommodations in person from the Office of Disability Services every semester for your classes and university activities. You must also sign a release of information for the disclosure of information relative to your disability.
On occasion, it may be necessary to disclose the nature of your disability in a letter approving accommodations in order to assist you in potential safety or emergency situations, such as fire drills, building evacuations, and specific medical situations. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Office of Disability Services.