Disability and Confidentiality

Information about student disabilities is confidential. Unfortunately, discrimination often occurs because of negative attitudes and misconceptions about the potential of people with disabilities. Thus, many students remain hesitant to disclose their disability status and guard their confidentiality closely. Please take care to ensure that only those who need to know about disability or accommodation information are apprised of this. Even with students who openly disclose their disabilities, do not share the information with others unless the student specifically requests it. Federal law mandates this policy and Accessibility Services supports it.

When talking to a student about a disability, try to meet in your office, an empty classroom, or an area that allows for some privacy of conversation (away from other staff, faculty, or students). It's best not to ask the student for a particular diagnosis, but to inquire about their difficulties, the challenges they face, or how you might help. If students wish to give you more specific information, they can do so.

Additionally, feel free to use Accessibility Services as a resource. We will not disclose the nature of a disability or other confidential information unless we have a student's permission. However, students often do request that we share information with others on campus in order to best meet their needs. In addition, we can always answer general questions, listen to your concerns, or discuss arranging accommodations for a student who has requested them.

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