Confidentiality and Advocacy

Confidentiality
All documentation concerning a disability provided by a student to the Disability Resource Office (DRO) is confidential. The faculty and staff of the university will not have access to these materials unless a student specifically requests that an individual be allowed to view these documents or share in this information. In the event that a student were to challenge a determination made by the DRO, it would be necessary for the appropriate university officials to access these materials in order to review the DRO's determination.

The DRO regards the documentation provided by a student as educational records. The student's file is kept in secure storage for five years from the last year of the student's enrollment, at which point the file is destroyed. We encourage students to keep copies of their documentation for future use; students may receive copies of their documentation on request. In addition, students may give written permission for copies on file to go to a third party; however, only DRO personnel may directly access the file.

Self-Advocacy, Advocacy by Staff, and Grievance Procedures
The Director of the Disability Resource Office plays an important role in advocating for the needs of students with disabilities. However, students are their own best advocates. Students need to take responsibility for requesting accommodations and voicing concern when their accommodations need to be readdressed. In particular, students should not hesitate to inform the DRO staff when they feel that they are not receiving their accommodations or when they feel their confidentiality is not being respected. The staff members are willing to accompany students in meeting with professors to resolve differences or seek new understandings.

Aurora University does have in place grievance procedures which allow a student to raise concerns when less formal processes have not been satisfactory to the student. Informal processes might include approaching the appropriate faculty or staff member, and meeting with the DRO staff. Formal processes are outlined below.

Any student who desires to challenge the accommodations made in his or her case may request:

  • An Informal Review:
    The dean of the school in which the student is majoring will review the student's complaint and take appropriate action if necessary.

  • A Formal Review:
    If the informal review does not resolve the issue, the student may request a formal review. The Provost of the University will ask the Faculty Senate to appoint a three-person committee to investigate and make a recommendation for his or her decision on the matter.