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Confidentiality and Disclosing a Disability

The Disability and Dyslexia Service Confidentiality Statement

The information you provide relating to your personal circumstances and impairment is treated as sensitive and private. Only information relevant for the purpose of co-ordinating your support is passed outside the Service and information is only passed on with students’ explicit permission.

Exceptional circumstances

Confidentiality will only be broken if:
• students are in danger of harming themselves or others;
• there is a legal requirement to disclose the information;
• professional fitness to practise may be compromised.

In these instances, staff would seek to discuss the situation with you before breaching confidence. In all cases, a decision to breach confidentiality will be taken by a senior member of the Division after discussions which preserve anonymity in the first instance.

Details of Data Protection Consent Requested

Storing information

When you meet with a member of the Disability and Dyslexia Service team for the first time, you are asked to agree to the Service storing information in paper and electronic format.
• A paper file will include medical documentation or psychologist reports and other documents relating to your individual       requirements. Correspondence with your funding body may also be included.
• Electronically, a database is kept with your personal details and support requirements. In addition, it may include electronic versions of file notes from meetings with DDS staff. All electronic information is password protected and used for the purpose of sending you letters, tracking progress with your support and anonymous statistical analysis.

You have a right to view the information, paper copy or electronically, held about you. If you want to access this at any time please put your request to a Disability Adviser.

Our records are kept for 6 years following your exit from Cardiff University in case you wish to contact us for any reason.

Sharing information

To ensure the University is able to provide support for disabled students information about your needs may have to be shared amongst staff of the University and some outside agencies involved in delivering your support e.g. your Local Education Authority or other funding body.  An adviser will discuss the confidentiality code in relation to sharing information at the appropriate time.  

Where the nature of your impairment constitutes a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act, your record as held on SIMS (Student Information Management System) will be updated to reflect that you have declared a disability.  If you are in receipt of the Disabled Students’ Allowance, this will also be recorded on SIMS. The record will be treated as confidential within the University and used to assist the University to meet its obligations under the Act, including monitoring duties and making adjustments for you.

You are not obliged to agree to your disability data being shared in this manner, however, if you do not agree whilst the University will take all practicable steps to make reasonable adjustments, there may be limitations on the type of adjustments that can be reasonably made.

We will ask your permission before disclosing any information about your disability outside the terms of this agreement, unless exceptional circumstances, detailed above, require us to disclose the information in the public interest.  At all times your personal data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Please speak to a member of staff within the Disability and Dyslexia Service if you have any concerns or queries about confidentiality and data protection.