Confidentiality and Release of Information

Disclosing a student's need for accommodation means disclosing personal information about the student, and OSWD can only do that with the student's explicit authorization.

The confidentiality of disability-related information is protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Confidentiality is strictly enforced in order to protect the privacy of the student and to prevent the student from being discriminated against based on a disability. Disability-related information is treated as medical information and is handled under the same strict rules of confidentiality as other medical information.

Information concerning disabilities will be kept confidential, except that (1) faculty and instructors required to assist the student will be informed of the necessary accommodations, which may imply disability information, if the student has signed an authorization form; (2) safety and health personnel may be informed as necessary if emergency treatment is needed; (3) government or University officials investigating compliance with applicable disability law shall be informed upon request; and, (4) as may be required by law.

Confidentiality and Faculty

Faculty and instructors do not have a right to information regarding a student's specific diagnosis. If faculty and instructors are going to be asked to assist in accommodating a student, that student is required to disclose the need for accommodation voluntarily by allowing signing an "OSWD Release of Information Form" (see the "Forms" page). This permits OSWD to inform the faculty member of the determined reasonable accommodations. Students are not required to disclose the nature of the disability to the faculty, only the need for specific accommodations.

Confidentiality and University Records

Disability-related information is kept strictly confidential even after the student has left the University. A student who is registered with OSWD will not have a notation appear on any University-generated transcript. This information will not be provided to graduate schools, to transfer Universities, or to potential employers unless a release of information is signed by the student. The student's status will not be released to anyone for any reason (except as noted above) without the student's written permission.

Confidentiality and Parents

Students enrolled at Gallaudet University, who are over the age of 18, are considered adults and their confidentiality is protected. No information, written or oral, will be released to other persons without the student's written permission. OSWD understands the needs of parents regarding the emotional and educational condition of their children. Students may sign the "OSWD Release of Information Form"  (on the "Forms" page) and allow OSWD to speak with parents. Signing this form is completely voluntary and students may revoke their permission at any time by notifying OSWD in writing.