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Transition Handbook

Student's Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

Disability related information and documentation is treated as medical information and handled under the same strict rules of confidentiality, as is other medical information. It is shared only on a limited basis within the institutional community and then only when there is a compelling reason for the individual seeking the information to have knowledge of a specific aspect of this confidential information.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, provides faculty with free access to educational information in institutional files regarding students with whom they are working. Disability related records are excluded from free access under FERPA.

Also excluded from free access under FERPA are inquiries external to the institution related to a student's disability or academic progress. This can be a significant adjustment for students who are accustomed to strong parental advocacy and intervention on their behalf. It is important for the student to begin development of strong self-advocacy skills and to seek the support of the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities when needed. Under FERPA family members are not provided with access to student information regarding disabilities, accommodations or academic progress without a student's written consent.