All records and documentation pertaining to a student’s disability are confidential. Disability-related records are maintained separately from academic files and are excluded from free access under FERPA (Family Rights and Privacy Act). No indication is made on the student transcript that a student has been registered with the Office of Disability Services or has received accommodations.
The routine means of communication with faculty of the need for accommodation is by the student sharing their Academic Accommodation Plan with the instructor. Disability-related information is shared only on a limited basis when there is a compelling educational need to communicate specific information with an MHU official who has a legitimate educational interest. An MHU official has a legitimate educational interest when (1) performing a task that is specified in the official’s position; (2) working to implement reasonable accommodations related to a student’s education; (3) performing a task related to student discipline; (4) maintaining campus safety and security. Faculty and staff are not given access to actual records or evaluations disclosing the nature of the disability. The only information to be shared with university officials, other than that which is necessary to implement specific accommodations, is that the student has registered a documented disability with the Office of Disability Services and has a verified need for accommodations.
Disability-related records are maintained in the Office of Disability Services for seven years after the record is established. Records (i.e. third party professional evaluations and medical information) are not released without written student consent. Only the Disability Services Coordinator and the immediate supervisory official to that position have access to this information.
The Disability Services Coordinator is available to provide support and advocacy to address the unique personal and academic issues of students with disabilities. While Mars Hill University Wellness Center staff members do not provide therapy, psychological evaluations, nor provide documentation to verify a disability, staff members are able to assist students with making referrals to appropriate community resources.