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We recognize the sensitive nature of the information we receive about students so we view all material pertaining to a student's disability as private. This policy is based on government mandates regarding the treatment of disability-related information.

Privacy

Any written material obtained by the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS) is used to verify the disability and plan for appropriate services and accommodations. Disability-related information we receive is housed in OARS. Only staff persons working in OARS office have access to these files. Files located in OARS are maintained for a period of seven years after a student is no longer registered for classes or upon graduation from the college. After a period of seven years, the file is destroyed.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), limits faculty access to student files and disability-related information. Any Institutional data collected from OARS will be reported in a manner that protects the anonymity/privacy of the individual.

Sharing Information

Some level of disclosure to faculty is necessary for a student to receive accommodations through OARS. Your Specialist can discuss more fully with you how we share information with others such as professors, other campus services, your parents and family members, your doctors, and other clinicians.

Information may also be shared with other professionals of the college on a need-to-know basis when there is a legitimate educational interest. What may be shared is the impact of the disability on a student's functioning within the institutional community.

For people outside the Bethel community, including parents, we will need your written permission to communicate with them. FERPA laws apply to the restriction of disclosure of information related to the student's college record. You will need a FERPA release form (pdf) in order to communicate with those outside the Bethel community.

Requesting Your Information

You can request the contents of your own file. All information in the file is the property of OARS. OARS cannot forward documentation that originated with another institution or professional. Disability-related information may be released to an outside source only after the student has signed the Exchange of Information form, which can be obtained by contacting OARS. OARS will comply with Bethel's policy on Mandatory Reporting with regard to "harm to self or others."