The CAL is committed to protecting your privacy. Please read through the following information to find out more about the policies which secure your privacy and confidentiality.
Any and all information collected in a student’s file will be treated as confidential, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of BC. Due to the privacy this legislation guarantees, no information – including the nature of a student’s disability and the fact of his or her registration with the CAL – can be disclosed to faculty, staff or members the student’s family unless we have written permission from the student.
In registering for services through the CAL and signing the Application Form, you give written permission for the CAL to share with faculty and staff only the information necessary for the provision of disability related services and accommodations. For example, the CAL may discuss with your instructor the nature of your impairment for which accommodation is required, such as difficulty taking notes, but we will not release or discuss your specific diagnosis. As with all university services, the CAL is required to share information with other university offices where those offices have a clear need to know in order to execute their duties. For instance, if an individual applies for a disability related bursary through the Financial Aid Office (FAO), and indicates to that office that they have a specific type of disability, the CAL will confirm the nature of the disability if approached by officers of the FAO. The CAL will limit the release to the minimal amount of information deemed necessary for the other university office to complete their duties.
All personal information held by the CAL will be retained and disposed of in accordance with an approved records retention schedule and disposal authority. The only way for someone outside the university access your information is with your written consent, or via legal means, such as via court subpoena.
Authorizing Others to Access the Information in Your File
Provincial law, as stipulated in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of BC, requires that any information obtained on behalf a student, or information being released to another party, must be approved in writing by the student.
You must sign a release of information form if you want family members, faculty, physicians or anyone else to have access to your information with the CAL, or to collect or discuss this information on your behalf. This can be done in person at the CAL office (1250 Maggie Benston Centre).
Because, as a student, you are considered to be a client of the CAL, it is preferred that all communications from the CAL are channelled directly to you. The CAL will not provide independent synopses of meetings to parents or others. You can, however, invite others to attend meetings with you, so that they have first-hand knowledge of what transpired during the meetings. The CAL will also provide you with copies of any progress notes or materials from your file, which you are free to disseminate to persons of your choice.
The following standard practices regarding confidentiality are very important. Although these are not frequent occurrences, you should be aware of these policies. Please discuss any concerns may you have about them when you meet with a Disability Access Advisor or other professional staff member:
- lf you are under the age of 19 and disclose abuse (sexual and/or physical) by a specific person, the abuse must be reported to the Ministry for Children and Families.
- If you are over the age of 19 and disclose abuse (sexual and/or physical) by a specific person who has access to people under the age of 19, the abuse must be reported to the Ministry for Children and Families.
- If there is a serious possibility that you may harm yourself or others, we must take reasonable action, which may include contacting the police or other responsible authorities.
- If you are impaired by drugs or alcohol and intend to drive, we must report this to the Motor Vehicle Branch and/or the Police.
- In some court actions, our professional staff and/or their records may be subpoenaed.