Penn State Harrisburg


The Office for Disability Services (ODS) is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student is maintained confidentially as required or permitted by law. Any information collected is used for the benefit of the student. This information may include psycho-educational testing, grades, biographical history, disability information, and case notes.  Students are informed of their confidentiality rights during their first meeting with the Disability Services Coordinator.

The following are ODS policies and procedures regarding confidentiality and the release of information from a student’s file:

  1. Only the Disability Services Coordinator and the staff assistant have immediate access to student files and records. Faculty do not have a right 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. To protect confidentiality by assuring limited access, all disability-related information is filed in the Disability Services Office only.
  2. Information in files will not be released except in accordance with federal and state laws, which require release in the following circumstances if a student:  
  • States that he or she intends to harm themselves or another person(s).  
  • Reports or describes any physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults within the last three years (this includes the occurrence of abuse or neglect to the student if he or she was under age eighteen at the time of the abuse).  
  • Reports the use of an illegal drug for non-medical purpose during pregnancy.  
  • Reports or describes sexual exploitation by counseling or healthcare professionals.  
  1. A student's file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.  
  2. A student may give written authorization for the release of information when she or he 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. Information will not be released without consent unless federal or state law requires it.  
  3. ODS 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