According to the National Association of ADA Coordinators, “To be eligible for services, students with disabilities must identify themselves and present professional documentation to the office of disability services.”
Unlike in high school, where it is the responsibility of the administrators and educators to identify students with disabilities, in higher education it is the student’s responsibility to self identify.
The Office of Accessibility Services cannot share information about a student’s disability with MSU staff unless the student has granted ODS permission to share this information, or there is a demonstrated institutional need to know. McNeese State University has designated ODS to be the office to receive and handle information about the student’s disability. With the student’s permission, designated faculty and staff will be advised only of the information they need to know to accommodate the student or to protect the safety and health of the student or others. Consider any communication regarding a student’s disability or special needs to be confidential. Employees, including student workers, must sign a confidentiality agreement acknowledging their understanding that continuation of employment is contingent on their abiding by the policies relating to confidentiality and privacy. Students who register with ODS are provided with a document outlining their rights and responsibilities. They are required to sign an authorization that allows the office to “notify my instructors of requested accommodations for [their] learning needs.” A signed copy of this document is kept in the student’s file in the ODS office. Copies of these documents are included as supporting documentation.