Confidentiality

The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services will maintain the confidentiality of all student records as required or permitted by law. Any information collected is used by DRES for the benefit of the student. This information may include test data, transcripts, grades, biographical history, disability information, performance reviews, case notes and correspondence.

No one has immediate access to student files at DRES except authorized DRES staff. A student has the right to review his/her own file. Otherwise, information regarding the student's disability obtained from medical examinations or appropriate post-admissions inquiries will be considered confidential and will be shared with others within the university on a need-to-know basis only, and only with signed consent from the student.

Disability-related information is to be treated as medical information. In general, University faculty and staff do not have a right or a need to access diagnostic or other information regarding a student's disability. Faculty and staff will be informed of the functionally inhibitive manifestations of the student's disability and the accommodations necessary or appropriate to meet the student's needs and compensate for the aforementioned deficiencies. When a student requests an accommodation, she/he will be informed as to what information will be provided to the faculty or staff regarding the request.

A student's file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena. In addition, a student may give written authorization for the release of educational 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.  However, please note that DRES cannot release medical or mental health documentation held in DRES files from a third party provider.  We can only release medical or mental health documentation that was generated by DRES after the student has provided written authorization. 

When it is necessary to copy a file, DRES may charge a reasonable fee for the costs incurred in connection with the copying of information. DRES will retain a copy of all information provided. If a student wishes to have a record expunged, he or she must make a written request to the DRES Director, who will decide whether it is necessary for the office to retain the record.

In an effort to support disability-related research, including projects designed to assess the efficacy and needs of disability services, DRES may collaborate on a wide range of research initiatives with investigators within and outside the University of Illinois. In such instances, students registered with DRES will be contacted by DRES staff to ascertain their willingness to participate. Students may refuse participation or withdraw from such studies at any time or for any reason without penalty.