We recognize the sensitive nature of the information we receives 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.
Any written material obtained by DRS is used to verify the disability and plan for appropriate services and accommodations.Disability-related information we receive is housed in the DRS offices. Each student has a separate file which is stored in a secure filing cabinet. Only staff persons working in DRS office have access to these files. Files located in the RDS offices are maintained for a period of 7 years after a student is no longer registered for classes or upon graduation from the college. After a period of 7 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 DRS will be reported in a manner that protects the anonymity/privacy of the individual.
Some level of disclosure to Faculty is necessary for a student to receive accommodations through DRS. 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 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 on 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 to review the contents of your own file when a Specialist is present. All information in the file is the property of DRS. DRS cannot forward documentation that originated with another institution or professional. Other disability related information may be released to an outside source only after the student has signed a Release of Information Form (pdf) giving permission. DRS will comply with Bethel's policy on Mandatory Reporting with regard to "harm to self or others".