The Simmons University Disability Services Office is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law.

Guidelines about the treatment of such information have been adopted by Disability Services and are rigorously followed and shared with students. These guidelines incorporate relevant state and federal regulations, as well as guidelines established by relevant professional agencies.

No one has immediate access to student files at Disability Services except the Disability Services staff. Any information regarding disability gained from medical examinations or appropriate post-admissions/hiring inquiry shall be considered confidential and shall be shared with persons in the university on a need-to-know basis. Disability-related information is to be treated as medical information is treated. If a student has requested an accommodation, the student will be informed as to what information is being provided to the faculty or staff regarding the request.

Disability Services has implemented special handling of individualized disability-related information to protect confidentiality. Disability-related information on students will not be released outside the university except in accordance with federal and state law. For example, records may be released in the following circumstances, if a student:

  • States they intend to harm themselves or another person (s);
  • Reports or describes any physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse of children within the last three years;
  • Reports the use of an illegal drug for non-medical purposes during pregnancy;
  • Reports or describes sexual exploitation by counseling or healthcare professionals.
  • A student's file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.
  • A student may give written authorization for the release of information when he or she wishes to share it with others. Before giving such authorization, the student should understand the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released. Information will not be released without consent unless state or federal law requires it. (Authorization for Release of Information Form in WORD or as a PDF)

Disability Services will retain a copy of all information provided for a minimum of seven years after the last contact the student has had with the institution. If a student wishes to have a record expunged, he or she must make a written request to the Disability Services staff, who will decide whether it is necessary for the office to retain the record.

There is no indication on the student's transcript, records, or diploma of use of services through the Disability Services Office. No disability-related information will be shared with any entity or individual outside of the university without a specific Release of Information form signed by the student.