Western New England University recognizes that student disability records contain confidential information and are to be treated as such. Therefore, documentation of a student’s disability is maintained in a confidential file in the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) and is considered part of the student’s educational record. Information related to a disability may be disclosed only with the permission of the student or as permitted by the University’s student records policy and federal law.
At the same time, however, a student’s right to privacy must still be balanced against the University’s need to know the information in order to provide requested and recommended services and accommodations. Therefore, in the interest of serving the needs of the student, the provision of services may require the SDS staff to disclose disability-related information provided by the student to appropriate University personnel participating in the accommodation process. SDS interacts daily with many offices on campus including: the Math Center; the Writing Resource Center; and the Office of First Year Students & Students in Transition. In addition to these offices, we regularly communicate with professors regarding students’ academic progress and scheduling, with parents and peer advisers or academic tutors. Finally, we may interact with several offices in emergency situations including the Counseling Center, Health Services and the Office of First Year Students & Students in Transition.
We often refer students to offices/people on campus to receive help and services. Once we refer students to these other services, we do not usually follow up unless the student has an ongoing issue and wants to involve us. The amount of information that may be released is determined case by case, and in accordance with the University’s policy on student records.
The SDS staff is very sensitive to and respectful of your right to privacy and confidentiality.