Disclosure and Confidentiality

To be entitled to accommodations and services, students must make an official disclosure to the college. This disclosure is entirely voluntary. Official disclosure occurs when the student notifies the Coordinator about the disability and provides the Coordinator with documentation.

The psychological evaluation is the essential document in this process because it identifies a specific diagnosed disability, indicates how the impairment will affect performance, recommends appropriate accommodations, and includes all testing scores and results.

The second document most students submit is an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 Plan. The IEP is not an essential document. It does, however, allow the post secondary institution to have some knowledge of services previously provided for the student by the preparing institution.

Colleges are not permitted to inquire about disabilities before or during the application process. Some applicants, though, choose to disclose during the application process. Others disclose during New Student Orientation or following matriculation. Some students undergo testing for a disability for the first time during college.

Some students choose to disclose to instructors directly rather than to the College through the Coordinator. In such instances, the instructor should refer the student to the Coordinator. The Coordinator will verify that the student has supporting documentation, work with the student to determine appropriate accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for the instructor. Instructors are not obligated to provide accommodations until they have been notified via the Accommodation Letter.

The Coordinator retains disability documentation records and maintains confidentiality of those records. In most situations, the Coordinator must have written permission from the student to disclose disability information to others, including faculty. After disclosing to the College, the student has the right to notify some or all instructors at any point of any semester. Those who have been notified are obligated to maintain that information in confidence.