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Statement of Confidentiality

West Virginia University (WVU) Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student is maintained confidentially as required by law. WVU must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which requires WVU to protect student educational records respectively. More information about FERPA and WVU’s responsibilities can be found on WVU's FERPA site

OAS will collect certain information as part of the “interactive process” for reviewing, analyzing, and approving requests for student accommodations. Any information collected is solely used for the benefit of the student. Due to the nature of OAS’s sensitive responsibilities, this information may include psychoeducational or neuropsychological testing, grades, biographical history, disability information, and case notes. This information is all used by OAS to develop an accommodation plan to assist the student. 

Because of the sensitive nature of this information, procedures for handling student information have been adopted by OAS and are rigorously followed by its staff. 

This Confidentiality and Informed Consent document serves as the documentation of your rights in protecting your confidential information. The OAS Policies and Procedures regarding confidentiality and the release of your information are as follows:
  • Student information obtained by WVU shall only be shared with others within the institution that have a legitimate educational interest. Only the OAS staff has immediate access to your files and records.
    • In general, when providing for accommodations, WVU faculty and staff do not have a legitimate educational interest or a need to access diagnostic or other information regarding a student's disability. They only need to know what academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services are necessary or appropriate to meet the student's disability-related needs. Absent a legitimate educational interest, this information will not be shared with other faculty and staff.
  • Under normal circumstances, the OAS will not disclose personally identifiable information unless you have provided written consent. However, certain exceptions exist where we may disclose certain information without your written consent, as follows:
    • If you threaten to harm either yourself or someone else, we are obligated under the law to take whatever actions seem necessary to protect people from harm. This may include divulging confidential information to the appropriate authorities. 
    • If we have reason to believe that you are abusing or neglecting a child, or if you report knowledge of an ongoing situation involving child abuse/neglect (this includes the occurrence of abuse or neglect to the student if he or she was under age 18 at the time of the abuse), we are obligated by law to report this to the appropriate authorities.
    • If we believe that a vulnerable adult is the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes, we may report such information to the relevant county department or state official. 
    • A student's file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.
      • Please note: If you are involved in or anticipate litigation of any kind and inform the court of the services that you receive from OAS (thereby making your disability an issue before the court), you may be waiving your right to keep your records confidential. You may wish to consult an attorney regarding such matters before you disclose that you have received services. 
  • If a University official, disciplinary committee, or court has referred you to OAS, you may assume that they may wish to receive some report or evaluation from us about your accommodation. You have the right to tell us only what you want us to know. A University official is defined on WVU's FERPA site .
  • You may give written authorization for the release of information when you wish to share it with others. Before giving such authorization, you should understand the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released. Information will not be released without consent unless federal or state law requires it.
  • OAS will not release information to a student, outside agency, parent, etc. that was obtained directly from a third party (e.g., if documentation, records, or information regarding a student is obtained directly from a physician, the information will not be released). The student, outside agency, parent, etc. will need to obtain the documentation, records, or information directly from the third party who originally supplied the information.
  • OAS may charge a reasonable fee for costs incurred in connection with the copying of information.
  • All documentation is maintained in electronic format during a student’s time of study at WVU and deleted five (5) years after the conclusion of the student’s time of study.
If you are concerned that your privacy rights have been violated or you feel that you have not been appropriately accommodated then you should contact the Division of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at (304)293-5600 or visit the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's website