This segment describes myths and misunderstandings some people might experience when navigating school-based services for students with disabilities. These topics apply to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), students with Section 504 Plans, and students with possible disability conditions impacting their educational access. MYTH: A parent or provider who visits school to support or evaluate an individual student is violating the privacy rights of other students just by being there. FACT: Federal laws protect private medical or educational records. Visiting a classroom or other school space should not expose student records for inappropriate viewing. The Department of Education provides a website page called Protecting Student Privacy to share resources and technical assistance on topics related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The confidentiality of medical records is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Understanding HIPAA and FERPA can help parents /caregivers ask their school for documented explanations whenever these laws are cited as reasons for a request being denied.
About The Author
Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment (PAVE)
PAVE provides support, training, information and resources to empower and give voice to individuals, youth and families impacted by disabilities. We envision an inclusive community that values the unique abilities, cultures, voices, contributions and potential of all individuals. Visit the PAVE website to learn more!