Winthrop University: Confidentiality and Use of Records

Office of Accessibility

Confidentiality and Use of Records

General Rule

The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and records maintained by the Office of Accessibility (OA). Under this federal act, prior written consent by the student is required before OA staff may release disability documentation or records.

Exception to the Rule

Under FERPA, OA professional staff is permitted to release information to a school official who has a legitimate educational interest that is specified in his or her position description, that is related to a student's education, or that is related to the discipline of a student.

What This Means

Administrators, professors, or other school officials may request information only if a legitimate educational interest exists. While faculty will need information about requested classroom accommodations, faculty will generally not need to know specific information regarding a student's disability. OA professional staff will only share information with other school officials when appropriate and will carefully balance a student's request for confidentiality with the request for additional, relevant information about the student. OA seeks to preserve the student's wish to keep his or her disability information and status confidential. We remain sensitive to this issue.

Retaining Records

Disability documentation and related records will be retained by the Office of Accessibility for five (5) years from last semester in which the student received services.

Last Updated: 9/17/19