The ODS treats any written material obtained to verify a disability, to plan for appropriate services, or to document services and contacts with this office as confidential. The following are guidelines used by the ODS regarding disability-related information:
- All disability-related information regarding cadets served by the ODS is housed in the Director of Disabilities Services’ office.
- All disability-related information is kept in separate files for each cadet and housed in secure file cabinets. This information is also stored in a secure electronic database system housed within the ODS.
- The ODS utilizes a secure, password protected, electronic database to store cadet information, cadet documents, and records of appointments. This information is accessible only in the ODS by an authorized ODS staff person.
- Only staff persons working at the ODS have access to paper and electronic files.
- Cadets who request services/accommodations acknowledge that some level of disclosure to select faculty members might be necessary to provide the requested accommodation(s). Disclosure will occur with the cadet’s specific written permission and with the understanding that only necessary information for the purposes of accommodation will be communicated.
- A cadet may request to review the contents of his/her own paper and/or electronic file. This review must be done in the presence of an ODS staff member. All information in the file is the property of the ODS. Cadets may receive copies of only disability-related records verifying the disability and the need for services and accommodation(s). Cadets must sign a release for the copies and an inventory list of all materials copied will be kept in the folder.
- Five (5) years after the last date of enrollment, all materials in a cadet’s folder in the ODS will be destroyed.
The ODS values the privacy of its cadets and the confidentiality of the personal, educational, and health information entrusted to us. To protect this privacy, we have policies and procedures to limit disclosures of personal information for the delivery of services and accommodations of the cadet, those for which the cadet has given permission, and/or those required by law or public safety. This section describes how disability information about a cadet who is registered with the ODS may be used and disclosed and how cadets can obtain access to their information. Please review this information carefully.
- Signed release. Information related to disability accommodations may be disclosed to persons the cadet has designated in a signed Authorization to Exchange Information form. The cadet can add or delete names by completing a new Authorization to Exchange Information form at any time. Such authorization may be revoked in writing by the cadet at any time.
- Legal requirements. Personal and/or documented disability information may be disclosed as required by court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process. Disability information can be disclosed to the proper authorities to prevent/control injury or harm to the cadet or to others. In these instances, the cadet would be informed regarding the disclosure.
- Cadet access to file information. Cadet requests to inspect and obtain copies of personal disability information must be made in writing by the cadet to give ODS permission to release the information. The ODS may deny in writing the release or viewing of personal disability information if the ODS or relevant university officials determine that the release of the information might be harmful to the cadet or another person. When such a request is denied, the cadet may request to appeal the denial by following the ODS Grievance Procedure which is described above.
Periodically, the ODS is asked to provide information about cadets identified and served through the office. These data are reported in a manner that protects the identity of all cadets. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (also known as the Buckley Amendment) and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 (ADA) do not allow faculty access to disability-related information. The ODS may, however, communicate information to faculty that a cadet has a documented disability and a need for accommodation(s). More specific information may be shared with individuals whom the cadet has indicated on the “Authorization to Exchange Information” form.
Maintaining privacy. The ODS is required by law to maintain the privacy of protected disability information and to provide and abide by this notice of its legal duties and privacy practices. Further, the ODS maintains and upholds best practice standards and ethical code outlined through the Association on Higher Education and Disability, http://www.ahead.org.