Privacy & Confidentiality

Student Disability Services maintains records in accordance with university policy for the handling of student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable privacy laws (see FERPA Rights at the Registrar's website). Records maintained by Student Disability Services are considered property of the Division of Student Life. The designated custodian of such records is the Dean of Students.

Clinical information provided in the professional documentation of disability includes the diagnosis of a physical, learning, or psychological condition, related test scores, and supplemental information provided by a licensed health care or mental health professional. Clinical information will not be released to anyone without the consent of the student except as necessary to implement accommodations or as needed for clinical consultation by the professional staff of the Student Disability Services office. Access to clinical information is restricted to the professional staff of Student Disability Services, the Dean of Students, the Director of the Health Center, and the Director of the Counseling Center. Additionally, the Health Center and the Counseling Center maintain independent records and may not release verbal or written information about a present or former patient or client without a written release of information from the patient or client unless required by law. Clinical documentation provided directly to Disability Services from a clinician is considered property of the clinician and will not be released to the student without the consent of the clinician.

Faculty and staff notification of disability status and accommodations will occur only at the request of the student. Except for the persons listed above, faculty and staff are not informed of the student's diagnosis of disability. Requests for faculty and staff notification will generally involve the student's completion of a faculty/staff release form provided at the DS office. However, in some instances, a student may verbally request that a member of the professional staff of Student Disability Services contact a faculty or staff member on his or her behalf.  Any verbal requests for information release will be documented in the student's Disability Services file. In most cases, the Student Disability Services office will inform faculty and staff of a student's disability status and accommodations by letter addressed to the faculty or staff member and given to the student for distribution.

Student Disability Services will retain records for no more than five years following the closing of the student's file, the withdrawal of the student, or the graduation of the student. Students wishing access to their Disability Services file must make a request for access in accordance with Whittier College's FERPA policy.