Student records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
SSD respects the confidential nature of disability-related information. The University of Texas and SSD have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of such documentation.
Access by University personnel to disability-related information housed in SSD is on a need-to-know basis and only for the purpose of assuring appropriate accommodations. Instructors are regularly apprised of the confidential nature of disability-related information shared with them. Accommodation letters prepared by SSD for instructors do not give specific diagnoses. Instead, the letters explain that the student has provided appropriate documentation of a disability and lists the approved academic accommodations for that student.
On a legitimate, educational need-to-know basis, SSD staff may discuss the impact or impairments caused by the disability and the corresponding accommodations approved with appropriate individuals on campus. Circumstances may include housing arrangements, academic accommodations, instructional strategies and resources or other circumstances specific to the individual.
The University of Texas and SSD are prohibited by law from releasing any disability-related records or personally identifying information to any entity outside The University including documentation provided to SSD by the student unless the student provides written permission or there is a court order. The University’s policy regarding student records may be found on the Web at: www.utexas.edu/student/registrar/catalogs/gi05-05/app/appc09.html. Entities outside The University include parents of students over the age of 18. A specific release of information must be signed and in the file giving staff permission to discuss student-specific information with parents.The student may request or approve the release of such information to persons or agencies outside The University by signing a Release of Information (PDF)
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) staff are designated as responsible employees. A responsible employee is a University employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office (or designee), or an employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. Sexual misconduct includes sex and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, and any other forms of inappropriate sexual conduct. For more information about our policies on sexual misconduct, please visit the General Information Catalog, Appendix D or the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) 3-3031. Information related to incidents of sexual misconduct that is disclosed in documentation may be reported to the Title IX Office. Disability/diagnostic information will be kept in accordance with SSD’s Confidentiality Guidelines.