Confidentiality, Grievances & Rights

Explore confidentiality, rights and grievances connected to student accommodations.

The Disability Center views all materials pertaining to students’ disability as confidential. We recognize that discrimination often occurs as a result of misconceptions regarding the potential of persons with disabilities.

Governmental mandates including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) all support this policy in their encouragement of the protection of privacy.

All written materials obtained by the Disability Center are used to verify the disability and plan for appropriate accommodations. Documents are stored in the student’s electronic file and original copies are destroyed by the Disability Center.

Disability-related information may be released on a legitimate need-to-know basis within the university community only when there is a compelling reason for disclosure regarding some specific aspect of the confidential information, such as providing an appropriate accommodation. This determination is made by the director of the Disability Center.

The Disability Center does not release disability-related documentation or records. Students are advised to keep copies of any documentation provided to the Disability Center for their own records or obtain copies of documentation from the original sources.

Students have the right to

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, facilities and activities offered through the university;
  • An equal opportunity to learn;
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations and academic adjustments with the goal of diminishing the effect of a disability on academic functioning;
  • Appropriate confidentiality; and
  • Respect and courtesy.

Students have the responsibility to

  • Meet the university’s qualifications and essential technical, academic and institutional standards;
  • Request accommodations in a timely manner;
  • Provide proper documentation that confirms your disability, identifies functional limitations and provides support for the requested accommodations;
  • Follow the specific procedures for requesting and obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations;
  • Provide for personal independent living needs or other personal disability-related needs;
  • Meet with faculty and request assistance through other campus resources;
  • Abide by the university’s standards and guidelines for behavior and academic integrity; and
  • Treat all university staff and faculty with respect and courtesy.

The Disability Center has the right to

  • Request current, appropriate and comprehensive documentation completed by an appropriate professional that supports a request for reasonable accommodations/academic adjustments;
  • With the student’s signed consent, discuss a student’s need for reasonable accommodations/academic adjustments with the professional who provides the documentation — with the goal of diminishing the effect of a disability on academic functioning;
  • Select the most appropriate or equally effective accommodations/academic adjustments through discussion with the student;
  • Deny a request for accommodations/academic adjustments if the documentation does not identify a specific disability, fails to verify the need for requested services, or is not provided in a timely manner; and
  • Refuse an accommodation or academic adjustment that imposes a fundamental alteration of a program or activity of the university, poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or poses an undue financial or administrative burden on the university.

The Disability Center has the responsibility to

  • Ensure that all programs, courses and services through the university, when viewed in their entirety, are offered in the most integrated and appropriate setting;
  • Provide information regarding policies and procedures to students with disabilities and ensure its availability in accessible formats upon request;
  • Provide or arrange for reasonable and appropriate accommodations/academic adjustments for students with disabilities on an individualized basis upon request, with documentation verification;
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication concerning students with disabilities except where disclosure is permitted or required by law or is authorized by the student; and
  • Treat all students with respect and courtesy.

Grievance Procedures

The university and the Disability Center support you in your right to file a grievance when you believe you have been denied equal access in the form of reasonable accommodations or have experienced discrimination or harassment. Depending on the situation, how you file a grievance may vary. The following outlines steps for you to take in voicing concerns:

What if I disagree with a decision made by a Disability Center staff member regarding my accommodations?

Students who disagree with a decision regarding their eligibility for accommodations should notify the director of the Disability Center within 5 business days of the decision to file an informal appeal.

Ashley Brickley
Director of the Disability Center
S5 Memorial Union
University of Missouri
Columbia MO 65211

The director will meet with all interested parties to allow an opportunity to review relevant documents, statements, and information. The director will make a decision within seven business days of meeting with the student and will notify the student and all interested parties of the decision in writing.

If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, or if the student’s dispute involves the director of the Disability Center, the student may formally appeal to the ADA coordinator. This request should be made within 5 business days of the director’s decision.

Amber Cheek
MU/UM System Director of Accessibility and ADA Coordinator

The ADA coordinator will review the relevant information and may meet with all interested parties. The decision of the ADA coordinator is final, and no further appeals are permitted.

What if I disagree with my instructor regarding my accommodation request?

Students should first talk with their instructor regarding their request for accommodations, and/or the implementation of their accommodations, to try and resolve the matter together. If the student and instructor are unable to come to a resolution, the student’s access advisor can assist in facilitating a discussion with the appropriate individuals regarding the situation. If the student believes the instructor is discriminating against them, they may make a report to the Office of Institutional Equity by using the online incident report form, sending an email to, or calling 573-882-3880.

What if I am experiencing a physical accessibility barrier?

The Office of Accessibility and ADA on Mizzou’s campus appreciates your assistance in improving the accessibility of our campus by reporting accessibility barriers you encounter through their online form. Examples may include a broken elevator or automatic door, an inaccessible website, a damaged access ramp, or a video without captions.

If you have encountered a barrier to access that is weather related or involves maintenance in a university facility, please call the Campus Facilities services desk at 573-882-8211.

For more information, you may visit the Office of Accessibility and ADA’s website.

What if I feel like I’ve been discriminated against (or faced retaliation)?
The University of Missouri is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus community. Our policies reaffirm our pledge to provide equal opportunity.

If you believe an individual has discriminated against you based on disability or has retaliated against you for making or supporting a claim of discrimination, you may make a report to the Office of Institutional Equity by using the online incident report form, sending an email to, or calling 573-882-3880. More information about reporting options can be found at

The Office of Institutional Equity will provide you information about your rights and options, including your right to file a formal complaint using the equity resolution process. The staff at the office can help explain the difference between the grievance process and the equity resolution process.

Students with disabilities may also file a complaint with the federal government through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Questions? Contact Us.