Confidentiality of Information
Information presented to the DSS Office in support of a student’s request for accommodation is considered private and sensitive and will be handled accordingly. This information becomes part of the student’s FERPA record; as such, disability-related information will be shared with other institutional personnel only when there is a legitimate educational interest.
The DSS Office is responsible for receiving and holding students’ disability-related information in order to guard against the unintentional disclosure of sensitive information. If a student wishes to have information about disabilities shared with third parties outside of DigiPen, the student must provide written authorization to the DSS Office before DigiPen will release the information.
The DSS Office destroys documentation and other disability-related information seven years after a student leaves the college.
If you are a student and wish to request reconsideration of accommodation decisions and/or implementation, we recommend you first engage the person (instructor, DSS staff, etc.) responsible for your grievance informally to attempt to resolve the problem.
If a faculty member does not agree with an accommodation assigned to a student, the faculty member must communicate with the DSS Office first. Until (and only if) DSS decides otherwise, the faculty member must continue to provide the assigned accommodation.
If a student or faculty member’s grievance regarding an accommodation cannot be resolved informally, formal complaints should be addressed to the Director of the DSS Office according to the following process:
Students and faculty file a complaint by completing the Disability Grievance form within 14 days of the alleged issue. Forms are available at the DSS Office. The completed Disability Grievance Form should be submitted to the Director of the DSS Office. (If the complaint originates from a faculty member, that faculty member must continue to provide the assigned accommodation(s) until the Committee finalizes its investigation.)
If appropriate, the Disability Appeals Committee, led by the Dean of Students, will investigate the complaint. The Committee shall interview all involved entities and ask them to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
The Disability Appeals Committee shall issue a written description of its investigatory findings and decision to the student and faculty member within 14 days of the submitted complaint.
The student may request the Dean of Students to reconsider the Committee’s findings within 14 days.
The DSS Office shall maintain the files and records of complaints filed.
The DSS Office recommends using the above grievance procedure. However, students and faculty may file a grievance with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at any time at the following address:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
915 Second Avenue Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099