Accessible Learning Centre & Confidentiality

As a department within the University of Lethbridge, the Accessible Learning Centre is committed to respecting the privacy of all individuals and operates in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. 

We take your privacy very seriously and employ safeguards to ensure confidentiality and protect your information.  We do not share any of your information with others (e.g., instructors, staff, or your parents), including if or why you are seeking our services without your informed consent.  However, there are times when ALC staff may be required to release information as identified below.

Important Limits to Confidentiality:

A. You give us written permission to share details about you with others (e.g., an academic advisor, your family physician, parents). You have the right to change your mind and revoke that permission at any time.

B. We use non-identifying facts about you (e.g., demographics) to compile statistics that may be used in professional publications and/or presentations.

C. If your file is subpoenaed or there are legal proceedings, our staff may need to provide information you shared while accessing our services.  We may advocate limiting the information admissible, but the court system has the ultimate right to access your file.

D. Should you share information that implies: (a) you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else; (b) someone you know may be in danger (e.g., is being abused, threatened, neglected, or is witnessing abuse), such as a university employee or student, dependent adult, family member, person under the age of 18, and/or an animal.

If you have any questions about these exceptions to your privacy,
please ask us — we are committed to protecting your rights.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions from students about their privacy

Short answer: Only to the people you have indicated on the ALC Consent Form including your instructors.  If you want us to be able to talk to your parent(s), guardians, or care providers, those people will need to be added to the consent form. You can remove consent at any time.  Please note: There are limits to confidentiality; please see the section ‘Important Limitations to Confidentiality’. 

Each semester, as a registered student you must fill out our Notice of ALC Policy form. This form is very important as it advises us which courses you are wanting accommodations in.  The accommodation letters are only sent to the instructors that you indicate on the policy form.  We do not contact instructors without a students’ consent.  The letters to the instructors do NOT contain any information regarding any student’s disability.  The letter is only to inform instructors that the student is registered with us and what accommodations are being provided to the student.  We will never discuss a student’s disability with an instructor.

Who can I share information with?

You are welcome to share any information you wish about your disability to whomever you deem appropriate.  You are the owner of that information.

Do my accommodations show up on my transcripts?​

Never!  No information regarding accessing our services will ever show up on your transcripts.

How are my records stored?

We respect the sensitivity of the documentation that students share with us. Any digital records that are created for your file are password protected.

Only department staff have access to your records which are always stored in a locked cabinet when not in immediate use by staff.  Staff do not access your information unless there is a need to do so. 

Your files are never stored out in the open when staff work on your case file to ensure privacy of your records.

How long do you keep my records on file?

We will keep your records in our department while you are an active student.  Once you are no longer an active student (e.g., no longer registered in classes or graduated) your file is sent to Records Management where it is securely stored until disposition.  Your records are kept in accordance with the University of Lethbridge Classification System.  Once the disposition date arrives, the records are shredded.

Privacy and Confidentiality – Speaking with Parents

I have a question about my student, what can you tell me?

Without written consent from the student (ALC Consent Form), we are unable to provide any information regarding your student specifically. We can answer general questions about services or funding. If your student decides to add your name to their consent form, then we have written consent to release pertinent information. This means that we can release reasonable information requested, not that we will disclose any and all information requested. Should your student choose not to add your name to their consent form, that is their right, and no information will be released. Providing consent for the exchange of information, does not mean that decisions can be made on the student’s behalf. All final decisions in regards to funding, services, etc., are up to the student. We do encourage parents to be involved in their student’s life and wellbeing, and to assist us in developing their self-advocacy skills for the work force.

 Information on privacy at the University of Lethbridge