Disability and Neurodiversity Service privacy notice

The Disability and Neurodiversity Service is part of University of Surrey. We are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office and are committed to ensuring that the personal data we process is handled in accordance with data protection legislation. We have a Data Protection Officer, who can be contacted via dataprotection@surrey.ac.uk.

What information do we collect from you?

We hold and process personal data about current and prospective students who have disclosed a disability with us. We only collect the data we need in order to provide you with the support you require at Surrey. We keep this data up to date. The personal data that we may hold about you consists of the below:

  • Personal details
  • Contact details
  • Course details (including your student number)
  • Academic records including information about your academic progress
  • Medical evidence or proof of disability
  • Study Needs Assessment report with permission from the student
  • Correspondence from the DSA
  • Documents relating to work during one-to-one support sessions
  • Notes from meetings and appointments with the Disability and Neurodiversity Service.

The above is not an exclusive nor exhaustive list but provides a comprehensive overview.

We receive this data from you when you contact the Disability and Neurodiversity Service department, whether as a prospective student or a student who has already enrolled at Surrey. We also receive data reports for funded services from a third party company, Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). Further third parties who may provide information about you to us include:

  • Needs Assessors (for example, Access 1st and WNAC)
  • Previous higher education institutions.
  • Health professionals, with request from the student.

We may collect information relating to you from other internal sources such as the student records system or SurreyLearn.

Why do we collect this information?

The University collects only the data we need; the data is kept up to date and only for as long as it is needed. We collect your personal data in order to provide the most suitable, effective and appropriate support for your academic studies and wellbeing. We will process your data for a number of purposes, including those listed below:

  • Academic administration and to facilitate your education, including arranging reasonable adjustments for lectures and exams based on your medical condition.
  • Assisting you with application for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).
  • To arrange support for International and EU students, and others not eligible for DSA.
  • In order to gain access to all available support, including assistance with preferential accommodation, application for parking permits etc.
  • Enabling effective communications between you and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service.
  • Support of Health, Safety and welfare requirements, including security, disciplinary, complaint and quality assurance processes, and arrangements.

The data may be used to make decisions about individuals in relation to reasonable adjustments. We take our obligations for data handling very seriously and seek to comply with all relevant data protection legislation at all times.

What do we do with your information?

The University processes personal data and special category data in accordance with data protection legislation and its own Data Protection Policy.

We will review and collate your personal information provided in order to provide full support needed for your academic studies. Information collated may be shared in order to process other student-facing regulations. For example, The Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulation (OSCAR), may request confirmation regarding a student’s registration with us in order to process an ongoing appeal case. We will not share special category data with any other department in the University without your explicit consent except in exceptional circumstances.

We have no right to disclose information of a students’ personal life, health situation and/or academic progress to relatives, even if we verbally confirm that the student has provided permission. Without a signed copy of a “consent-to-share” form, we will neither confirm nor deny whether we have such a student at Surrey. There may be exceptional circumstances, such as life or health threats, when requirement of a consent-to-share form may be waived.

In exceptional circumstances where staff or members of the public believe there is a serious risk of harm to you and/or others, we will be obliged to disclose information to outside contacts without your specific consent.

We take our obligations for data handling very seriously and it is therefore important for you to know that we process your data in relation to providing you with additional support and providing information to other departments to enable them to make reasonable adjustments normally with your explicit consent. Some data processing and sharing may take place under other legal processing conditions including protecting the vital interests of individuals and advancing the legitimate interests of the University or a substantial public interest.

How long do we keep your information?

We keep your personal data in accordance with the University’s retention schedules. For current students, this means that data is kept for seven years (84 months) after the date of your course completion, when you are no longer a registered student at the University. Once these seven years have passed, your personal information will be destroyed.

For prospective students who have provided special category data, we will keep your file active until the start of the next academic year, up to 15 months after the information was provided. Following this period and on receipt of confirmation that Surrey is no longer your University of choice, we will destroy your file.

With whom do we share your information?

Any disclosure you make to the Disability and Neurodiversity Service team will be safely and confidentially recorded and kept on file. Depending on the nature of the disclosure, we may be required to share information you provide in order to meet our duty under reasonable adjustments, safeguarding or other university responsibilities.

If you have concerns regarding those with whom your information is shared, do email the Disability and Neurodiversity Service and we will discuss and explain this further.

When you register with the service, a disability advisor will offer to create a Learning Support Agreement (LSA), which states the learning and examination adjustments agreed to. Part of the creation of an LSA requires for it to be shared with your Faculty, the Examination Office, Assessments and Awards and, where relevant, the Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulation (OSCAR).

If you do not wish your reasonable adjustments to be shared with these departments, it will not be possible for these adjustments to be implemented. We will not share details of your disability or medical condition with these departments without your explicit consent.

Normally, we will only share information about you to colleagues in the Centre for Wellbeing, Security and Health and Safety with your explicit consent.

In the event of a safeguarding or serious wellbeing/health concern, we may need to liaise with these departments without your consent. Depending on your condition, a disability advisor or other member of the Disability and Neurodiversity Service may recommend disclosure to one or more of these departments in order to be offered the support you require. This could include ensuring an emergency evacuation procedure is in place for students that would require additional support.

Where your consent to share your data cannot be obtained because you are unable to provide it, the University may still share your data with other teams when it is necessary to provide essential support for individuals with a particular disability or medical condition (under the “substantial public interest” processing condition and section 19, schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018).

Where a student submits an application for preferential accommodation or a parking permit on health or wellbeing grounds, we will need to share our recommendations with the Accommodation/Transport team.

We will always ask for your consent to share before doing so and if you do not wish us to share our recommendations with these departments, we will be unable to support you. We would not share details of your disability/wellbeing need unless it is necessary to implement certain reasonable adjustments or if there is a medical/wellbeing need.

We may obtain information about your academic progress from the University’s student records system in order to assess the effectiveness of our support to you. This will only take place if it is in your interests and you can ask us to stop this data processing at any time.

Monitoring the effectiveness of our services is necessary to advance the University’s legitimate interests and to ensure the most effective support for its students.

What rights do you have in relation to the way we process your data?

As an individual whose data we process (a data subject), you have certain rights in relation to the processing. Find detailed information about your rights as a data subject.

You have the right to:

  • Withdraw your consent for us to process your personal data
  • Ask us to confirm that your personal data is being processed and to access (i.e. have a copy) of that data as well as to be provided with supplemental information about the processing
  • Request that we rectify any inaccuracies where the data we hold on you is inaccurate or incomplete
  • Have your data erased by us, although in certain circumstances we may not be able to do this. The circumstances where this applies can be found in the data subject rights information on the University’s web page
  • Restrict the processing of your personal data in certain ways
  • Obtain your personal data for reuse
  • Object to certain processing of your personal data.

You have the right to object to the way we process your data. To exercise this right, please email the Information Compliance Unit

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (an independent body set up to advise on information rights for the UK) about the way in which we process your personal data.