Maintaining Confidentiality of Student Disability Information
The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) at Barry University treats all student information with the strictest confidentiality. The information we have about students are mostly educational records and are thus governed by The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. However, documentation of a disability often includes psychological or medical reports that fall under the category of health information. The OAS does not meet criteria as a “covered entity” under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), but we will nevertheless protect student information by following both FERPA and HIPAA guidelines. Specifically:
- All records are maintained in a secure electronic medical records program. Documents that have been scanned and saved to the secure program are shredded.
- All paper records containing student information are kept in locked file cabinets. The rooms containing the file cabinets are locked when the office is closed.
- Routine communication about a student with faculty or other members of the Barry University community will not reveal information about a student aside from acknowledgment that the student is receiving services through the OAS and the nature of the accommodations that the student is entitled to.
- When a staff member of the OAS needs to communicate with a third party beyond routine communication (as described in item three above), we will obtain a Release of Information (ROI) by which the student grants permission for information about them to be shared.
- All OAS Staff receive training about confidentiality and are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.
- Records are maintained for seven years, after which time they are deleted and/or shredded.