The DRC takes our responsibility to protect your confidential information seriously.
Rules Regarding Protected Information
The Disability Resource Center operates under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, information such as registration with the DRC, documentation, and diagnosis is protected by the confidentiality standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Under FERPA, your status as a student registered with the DRC is disclosed on a need-to-know basis only. Any information you provide to the DRC regarding your disability will be kept confidential and maintained so that only DRC staff have access. Your student records, degree, and transcript will not reflect your registration with our office.
Disclosure of Protected Information
It is important to note that, while we hope you feel comfortable talking about your disability, you never need to disclose it to anyone other than the DRC. If at any time you feel that an instructor or someone else outside the DRC is trying to get information about your diagnosis, you can simply refer the person to the DRC. We will give them only the information they need to know according to FERPA and the ADA.
Your status as a student registered with the DRC will only be disclosed to PSU faculty and staff who will provide you with accommodations you have requested. Therefore, you are in charge of whether an instructor or PSU staff person is notified of your eligibility for accommodations. We do not inform instructors or staff of a student's disability or diagnosis.
If you do not want an instructor to know that you are registered with the DRC, you can decline to enter a service request for the class. It is important to know that the instructor is not obligated to accommodate you if you choose not to submit a service request.
DRC Mandatory Reporting Requirements
As part of the PSU community, we are obligated to help keep it safe. This means that there are rare occasions when we may need to disclose confidential information without a written release.
- If we hear about thoughts of harm, discrimination, harassment, or assault, we cannot keep it confidential, even if the person reporting would prefer we not disclose.
- Everyone who works at Portland State University is a mandatory reporter if we hear about serious risk of harm.
- To ensure your health, if a medical emergency occurs in the office we will provide relevant medical information to the emergency responders.
- If we hear about academic dishonesty, we are obligated to follow up.
- If a student affiliated with the DRC files a lawsuit against PSU, we may be required to turn over a copy of their records to the PSU attorneys. It will then be up to them to decide who gets to see the information.
Authorizing Disclosure and Requesting Copies from Your File
If you want to authorize the DRC to speak with or provide information to your provider, a family member, friend, or other person, you must fill out a DRC Release of Information form. We can email the form to you, or you can pick it up at our office. Without this release on file, we won't be able to speak with anyone outside of the university about you.
You have the right to request copies of documents from your DRC file. If you want copies, you can come to the DRC office with a photo ID (P.S.U. ID, state ID or driver’s license, passport, etc.) and request them. If you are out of state, we can mail copies to the current address in PSU’s Banner system. You can update your address in Banner at any time.
If you have any questions about confidentiality, feel free to talk with a DRC Access Counselor & Consultant or DRC admin staff. We will be happy to answer.