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University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Confidentiality

Student records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

SSD respects the confidential nature of disability-related information. The University of Texas and SSD have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of such documentation.

Access by University personnel to disability-related information housed in SSD is on a need-to-know basis and only for the purpose of assuring appropriate accommodations. Instructors are regularly apprised of the confidential nature of disability-related information shared with them. Accommodation letters prepared by SSD for instructors do not give specific diagnoses. Instead, the letters explain that the student has provided appropriate documentation of a disability and lists the approved academic accommodations for that student.

On a legitimate, educational need-to-know basis, SSD staff may discuss the impact or impairments caused by the disability and the corresponding accommodations approved with appropriate individuals on campus. Circumstances may include housing arrangements, academic accommodations, instructional strategies and resources or other circumstances specific to the individual.

The University of Texas and SSD are prohibited by law from releasing any disability-related records or personally identifying information to any entity outside The University including documentation provided to SSD by the student unless the student provides written permission or there is a court order. The University’s policy regarding student records may be found on the Web at: www.utexas.edu/student/registrar/catalogs/gi05-05/app/appc09.html. Entities outside The University include parents of students over the age of 18. A specific release of information must be signed and in the file giving staff permission to discuss student-specific information with parents.

The student may request or approve the release of such information to persons or agencies outside The University by signing a Release of Information Form.