Confidentiality of Your Records

We recognize your right to determine who receives disability-related information and your right to confidentiality of this information. We only share information as would be needed to arrange accommodations, if required under law, or at your request.

Disclosure to appropriate faculty and staff of your status as a student registered with Student Disability Services (SDS) is a necessary procedure to coordinate and administer requested accommodations. The degree of information that is required by university constituents regarding your disability is directly related to the nature of the accommodations and services required. When you register and formulate an accommodation plan with us, you sign an agreement regarding accommodations and permission for SDS to discuss information related to your educational and/or functional needs for the purpose of securing reasonable accommodations.

The procedure for classroom accommodation requests involves you sharing an accommodation letter with the instructor from SDS with information that you are registered with us and the recommended accommodations for the course. These letters disclose the presence of a disability, but do not provide any specific information regarding your condition(s).

In certain situations, disclosure of specific information about your condition(s) and how they affect you in a course or program may be required to fulfill accommodation requests or help a professor understand the connection between the disability and an accommodation. Such disclosures would be agreed upon by you and SDS.

Maintenance of Records

Disability documentation is maintained in locked cabinets in SDS and on secure servers and is not part of your permanent educational record.

Documentation is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and will be released from your file in the following circumstances only:

  1. A court order
  2. Your written permission
  3. Within SDS for a legitimate educational reason

In accordance with Cornell policy, SDS files and records are destroyed five years after your graduation or date of last attendance.