DSS Confidentiality Policy

Disability Support Services (DSS) maintains confidentiality of information for students who have documentation on file, or who have accessed support through DSS. All information provided to DSS verbally or in written form including the nature of their disability will remain confidential to DSS personnel with the exceptions of circumstances listed on the Authorization for Sharing Form each student is asked to complete when requesting services. Unless the student provides a written consent to release information the information will:

- Be secured in the DSS office
- Remain separate from all other school records
- Be destroyed when the student has not attended NIC for 5 years.
- Not be disclosed to anyone other than those circumstances listed on the informed consent (Authorization for Sharing) or other type of release wherein the student has given permission to disclose information about them

The fact that students have requested accommodations through DSS and therefore have a “documented disability” is apparent when instructors receive an Accommodation Request Form from DSS. However, the nature of their disability is NOT disclosed via the Accommodation Request Form and instructors are not privy to this information. Students may choose to tell instructors, but are advised that they are under no obligation to disclose anything about the nature of their disability to anyone other than DSS staff. However, students are required to discuss their accommodations as needed with pertinent instructors.

Instructors are required to keep any information about their student’s disability including that the student has a disability (unless obvious) confidential unless special circumstances apply (such as a threat to safety, or the student or others etc.)  Instructors should contact their chair for further information and or DSS and relevant Student Service administrators.

Students are asked to complete a limited release of information in DSS prior to the disclosure of any information or prior to communication about them via e-mail due to the possibility of computer error that may result in unauthorized individuals viewing their information.