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General Information about Documentation

Documentation provides the University with verification of a student's disability. It is the student's responsibility to provide documentation of a disability to the DSS Office. Documentation requirements vary dependant upon the specific disability. In general, the less obvious the disability, the more information is required to determine a student's needs and make accommodation recommendations. Documentation should be recent, relevant, comprehensive, and, where appropriate, contain test scores and interpretations (e.g. learning disability reports, audiograms, etc.).

If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodations, VCU may exercise its discretion regarding requiring additional documentation. Pending the receipt of appropriate documentation, VCU reserves the right to deny any accommodation requests.

 

Confidentiality

Disability documentation is considered confidential information and does not become part of a student's academic transcript. All disability related information is housed in the DSS Office only. Disability documentation shall be released only in accordance with the law and VCU policies and procedures.

Please note that all student information is confidential. Specific inquires regarding student information (including testing information, registration status, office appointments, etc.) will only be answered for each student via VCU email or in person; a valid picture ID will be required prior to receiving in-person information. If a student is 18 years of age or older, student information (other than exams/tests/quizzes), will only be released to the student, and any party indicated on a release form. Upon photo verification, exams are released to instructors and any other persons authorized by the instructor to pick up exams. Minimal basic student information may be released to departments on campus on a strict, educational, need-to-know basis. DSS takes student confidentiality very seriously, and cannot make exceptions to these conditions, including for parents, in order to protect highly sensitive student information.

 

Disclosing a Disability

Students are under no obligation to disclose their disability unless an accommodation is being requested; likewise, faculty and staff have no authority to see disability documentation or have any information concerning a student's disability without a legitimate educational need to know or written permission from the student. 

 

Academic Records

Students' grades, transcripts, and other academic information are also confidential and shall be released only in accordance with the law and VCU policies and procedures. It is the student's responsibility to supply any sponsoring agencies or individuals with copies of their grade reports and/or other academic information.