Confidentiality for Students with Disabilities


Students with disabilities have a right to confidentiality. All information concerning a student’s disability is private. This includes written and electronic records, and written and verbal communications. Confidentiality belongs to the individual. This means that a student is free to disclose anything he or she chooses about his or her disability status, but no one else can. This information is “owned” by the individual with a disability and information can be disclosed only with written permission specifying what information is shared, with whom, and for what purpose. Even with permission, information is shared only on a “Need to Know” basis.


If a student discloses his or her disability status to a University employee that person must make the student aware of services provided for students with disabilities. This applies to medical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities. Please refer students to Special Services.

Person-First Language

When we refer to students with disabilities we place the person first. For example, we say “student with a disability,” rather than “disabled student.” Person-first language demonstrates respect for students and understanding that disability is only one aspect of a multifaceted person whose identity and interests extend far beyond her or his disability status.

Disabilities are Discrete

No one form of disability indicates that another disability is present. Disabilities are specific, not global, and one area of disability is balanced by another area of skill. Disability is one aspect of diversity that can enhance awareness and respect for differences.


Accommodations are not special privileges. They provide equal access for students.

Need More Information?

Please write or call Jo-Ellen Scribner, Coordinator of Special Services ( for more information or to make an appointment. Hours: M - F, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Share |