Skip to main content

Privacy and Use of Confidential Information

Statement of Confidentiality

The Accessible Learning Centre (ALC) collects, stores, and uses personal and health information as is reasonably required to provide disability-related services under the legal authority of the Wilfrid Laurier University Act (1973, amended 2001) and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSO 1990, c. F. 31).

The ALC collects information from students about their disability, functional limitations stemming from their disability, and other disability-related information sufficient to support accommodation planning for studies at university.  The ALC also collects information about the student's academic studies at Laurier, including academic status, as well as identifying information such as name, birthdate, contact information, and emergency contact details.  

The ALC collects this information to provide accommodation services and supports to students with disabilities.  Examples of supports and services include determining a student’s eligibility for accessibility services, developing individualized accommodation plans, determining eligibility for university and government bursaries, facilitating referrals to on and off-campus supports and services, and supporting informal or formal academic appeals. 

Further information about how the university collects, uses, and discloses personal information can be found in Laurier’s Notice of Collection, Use or Disclosure of Personal Information and Policy 10.1 Privacy Protection and Information Access.

Collection of Personal Information

The ALC primarily collects information through the disability documentation it requires from students when registering with the service. Information is also collected directly from students through in-person, phone or video meetings, email communications, and from their Laurier student account through LORIS. 

Students are required to submit their disability documentation to the ALC via upload to our secure server. 

Students are advised not to submit their disability documentation to the ALC using email as secure transmission using this medium is not guaranteed. 

Indirect Collection 

The ALC does not permit indirect collection of personal information from third parties or family members without the student's explicit knowledge.  Personal information submitted to the ALC without the student’s direct knowledge will not be accepted.  

Confidentiality and Protection of Personal Information

The University is committed to maintaining confidentiality to the greatest extent possible when providing academic accommodation and related support services to students with disabilities. All information provided by students, including written documentation related to their disability and information disclosed by students to ALC personnel during in-person, phone, or video meetings, or in email communication, is held in strictest confidence.  The ALC ensures that the personal information collected from students is protected from unauthorized access, modification, use, disclosure, or destruction.  The ALC’s collection, use and maintenance of student personal information is monitored and managed according to the University’s policies and service standards and in compliance with privacy legislation.   

The ALC collects and maintains student electronic records through the Accessible Information Management (AIM) solution.  As per Policy 9.5 External Information Technology and Cloud Services Policy, a Privacy and Security Impact Assessment was completed on AIM and approved its use for confidential internal and restricted information, which includes personal health information.  Users should be aware that AIM is a cloud-based solution and that the data they submit to the ALC through AIM is encrypted and stored on AIM servers outside of the university.   

The ALC also maintains records in hard copy for students who registered with the ALC before January 2020.  These files are kept in locked filing cabinets housed within the ALC spaces on Waterloo and Brantford campuses.   

Only ALC personnel is authorized access to student records that are collected and maintained by the ALC. 

The ALC maintains records for five (5) years after the student's last contact with the service. After this time, student records with the ALC are deleted or shredded via a confidential shredding service. Students can request electronic copies of their information in their the ALC file even after they have left Laurier for a period of up to five (5) years following their last contact with the ALC. 

Privacy Breach Protocol

In accordance with the University’s Privacy Breach Protocol, the ALC is obligated to notify the Privacy Office of any confirmed or suspected breaches of personal privacy, including accidental or unauthorized disclosure, access, theft or loss.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

The ALC does not share information about a student's disability with anyone else within or external to Wilfrid Laurier University without the student's explicit consent.  ALC personnel will communicate with others about a student’s disability in relation to their need for accommodation, such as with parents or health care providers, only at the student’s explicit request and their written consent. Information about accommodations will be shared as noted below. 

Students are not required and are advised not to share any information about their disability with anyone outside of ALC for the purposes of obtaining academic accommodations including with instructors or staff within academic departments.   

Information about a student's disability, their registration with ALC, and/or their receipt of academic accommodations does not appear on any official file with the University, including transcripts, LORIS accounts, or degree documents. 

Exceptions

There are some exceptions where the University may be required to disclose personal information about students with others. These exceptions include but are not limited to: 

  • In accordance with University policy 
  • If there is a known risk of serious harm to the student or another person 
  • In the case of apparent, reported, suspected or potential child abuse or neglect 
  • In response to a court order or summons for records or testimony 
  • If a student reports sexual abuse by a Regulated Health Care Professional 
  • In compassionate circumstances, to facilitate contact with a spouse, a close relative or a friend of an individual who is injured, ill, or deceased 
  • To an institution or a law enforcement agency in Canada if: 
    • the disclosure is to aid in an investigation undertaken by the institution or the agency with a view to a law enforcement proceeding, or 
    • there is a reasonable basis to believe that an offence may have been committed and the disclosure is to enable the institution or the agency to determine whether to conduct an investigation 

Sharing of Accommodation-Related Information

Letter of Accommodation

ALC issues to all students a valid Letter of Accommodation (LoA) once their accommodation plan has been finalized. 

The LoA serves as a written agreement between Wilfrid Laurier University and the student outlining the academic accommodations for which they have been approved. No information pertaining to the student's disability is reproduced on the LoA. 

ALC works with students to communicate the accommodation information contained in their LoA to instructors, teaching assistants, academic departmental staff and administrators, practicum and field placement staff, and others as required.  Communication of accommodation information is essential to ensuring that all accommodations are properly implemented in a timely fashion for students with disabilities at Laurier. WLU also shares accommodation information using direct electronic feeds with departments such as Online Learning, and other units involved with arranging student academic accommodations for final exams. 

In all these communications, ALC shares accommodation information only on a need-to-know basis sufficient to facilitate implementation of the student's accommodations. No information about the student's disability or the reason for their registration with ALC is ever shared in these communications. 

Student Queries 

Student may speak with the Manager of Academic Accommodations regarding any questions or concerns they have about how their personal information is collected, used, stored, shared, or disclosed by the ALC.