Confidentiality of D&A Student Records
Student records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Disability documentation submitted to Disability and Access is kept separate from a student’s academic records and is not available to anyone outside the D&A office. Students can request a copy of their disability documentation from their Access Coordinator as long as a completed Release of Information is on file.
The University of Texas and D&A are prohibited by law from releasing any disability-related documentation or personally identifying information to any entity outside The University (including parents), 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: https://onestop.utexas.edu/student-records/personal-information/.
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 (available from D&A).
Student Disability Disclosure
Students are not expected to share their disability information, including diagnosis or symptoms, with anyone outside of D&A. It is always a student’s choice to decide if and when they disclose and it is never required. Accommodation letters for instructors do not list 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. Conversations with instructors should focus on how the accommodations will be provided in each class, rather than why they are necessary. In some cases, there may be a health or safety-related reason where a student may want to disclose more detailed information to an instructor or staff member.
Confidentiality and Title IX
Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapters E-2 and E-3, requires reporting incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, or stalking committed by or against a person who was a student enrolled at or an employee of UT Austin at the time of the incident. However, D&A staff have been designated as confidential employees. This means that if we learn about any incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, or stalking, we are only required to report the type of incident reported and the date we learn about the incident to the UT Title IX office. We will not report any information that could identify you. This includes information contained in documentation or that may be disclosed to staff in person or in email or phone communication. D&A will always be happy to provide referrals for resources and support for survivors. 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.
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