OAE & Your Privacy
Sharing your medical or disability information can be daunting. Know that we take your privacy very seriously.
Understanding the process and systems involved in accommodations helps you, the student, be a better self-advocate when it comes to navigating our services and the management of your disability as a whole. Read this over and contact us if you still have questions.
What kinds of information we collect/store:
To understand how the OAE thinks about the confidentiality of your information, it’s important to understand the distinctions we draw between the kinds of information we collect and store about you (aka your file).
Types of information:
- Health information and medical documentation: As part of the interactive process of determining disability accommodations, the OAE will ask you for various information about your disability experience. This can look like the initial OAE registration questions that ask about your disability and how it impacts you. Here are some examples:
- Records that you have shared with our office, such as documentation from your current or former medical providers that discuss your diagnosis, symptoms, functional limitations, and treatment plan.
- Copies of previous accommodations you have received at other institutions.
- Self-report from you that detail how your disability is impacting your academic and residential experience.
- Administrative information: To better be able to serve students, the OAE keeps data on the accommodations that our office has approved and provided for a student. Administrative information may look like:
- Notes summarizing interactions with students (e.g., meeting notes). This allows us to more effectively support a student if their Disability Adviser is unavailable for some reason.
- Notes about OAE staff interactions with campus partners for the purposes of student advocacy or support.
- Accommodation requests (e.g., requests for accommodation letters, notetaking, HARFs, etc.)
When and how information is shared and stored:
Sharing your information
- We do not share the specifics of your diagnosis or symptoms without your explicit, written permission.
- We strictly limit discussion of the impacts of your disability to what we call functional limitations. We will only disclose this if it’s needed for the implementation of your accommodations here at Stanford.
- We may share that you are registered with our office if it is necessary for you to receive services from other offices at Stanford.
- We share your approved academic accommodations with you (in the form of an accommodations letter) so that you can determine who receives them.
- We share your approved housing accommodations directly with Stanford’s Residential & Dining Enterprises so that they can make appropriate assignments or implement services.
- We do not share your health, accommodation, or registration status information with entities outside of Stanford unless you explicitly request it or if we are legally compelled to do so (e.g., a request from the Office of Civil Rights)
- We know that for some students having a care team - including your family or trusted others - is important in helping you manage your disability. You can always contact your Disability Adviser if you would like to discuss releasing your information to additional people.
- Students can also direct us to send copies of their documentation to schools to which they've transferred or started post-grad programs. We use a release of information form for this.
Storing your information
- Both active and inactive students’ names, type(s) of disability, and dates of contact with the OAE are maintained in a secure database. We retain an active copy of your student file for the duration of your Stanford education. If a student is continuously inactive or has graduated, your student file will remain intact for seven years after you are separated from the University.