Privacy policy

How the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre uses your personal information

Information about a disability, impairment, or a long-term health condition is considered sensitive personal data under data protection legislation.

The Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) uses your personal information so you can access academic-related disability support while you’re studying at the University of Cambridge.

With your consent, we collect certain medical and diagnostic information from you so that our Disability Advisers can support you effectively.

Who we share your information with

We may need to share your information to help organise support for you. We’ll only share this information where it’s necessary and only on a ‘need to know’ basis. We define ‘need to know’ as:

  • sharing enough information to help establish support
  • only sharing with people involved in that process

When we share your information with people, we ask that they:

  • respect your confidentiality
  • do not pass the information to anyone who is not involved in your support

How we manage your information disclosure

You can choose to give fulldisclosure or restricteddisclosure to the ADRC. You can contact us to change this at any time.

Full disclosure

If you give full disclosure, the ADRC may share your information with (but not strictly limited to):

  • staff within the collegiate University
  • Non-medical Helpers that we supervise, in their roles supporting disabled students
  • University teaching and administrative staff, laboratory technicians, and facilities staff
  • library staff in the University Library, Colleges and Department Libraries
  • other student support services such as the Students’ Unions’ Advisory Service or the University’s Mental Health Advisers
  • Student Registry, for example, the Board of Examinations
  • Estates Management so they can make access adjustments to the estate

The ADRC may also share student data with other University bodies, such as:

  • the Careers Service, to help improve their service to disabled students
  • the Student Registry, for statutory information purposes and data analysis
  • University Information Services, our central IT provider
  • approved contacts at your College
  • approved third parties, for example, a family member

The ADRC may also share student data with external bodies, such as:

  • the funding body paying for your Disabled Students’ Allowances
  • Needs Assessment Centres or other specialist external assessment services
  • placement providers, for example, school or industry placement
  • assistive technology providers and trainers
  • other Non-Medical Help providers not supplied by the University of Cambridge
  • equipment providers
  • General Practitioners (GP), Consultants, Educational Psychologists or previous education providers

We will only disclose your information without your consent in certain exceptional circumstances.

These are:

  • if there is an immediate and serious threat to your personal safety or to the safety of others
  • if there is a need for confidential counselling, advice or support, or of another similar service
  • to comply with duties of safeguarding

Restricted disclosure

You may choose to restrict the disclosure of your information. You can decide to restrict the disclosure of your information to:

  • your College only
  • the University only
  • to specific people only
  • staff within ADRC only

In choosing these options, the ADRC will hold your data but only forward this on to the body identified.

We will not speak to your parents or legal guardian about you without your express permission.

If you choose to restrict disclosure, it may limit the type and level of support and adjustments you receive.

We may not be able to speak to the relevant people to request reasonable adjustments or to make recommendations. For example, we may not be able to speak to your funding body about any funding applications you may have made. If you would like to discuss anything related to disclosure, contact the ADRC.

How we store your personal information

We transfer your personal information to the people mentioned using safeguards such as technical security measures to ensure the safety and security of your information.

We store your details and communications with us in a standalone secure database within the ADRC. This is so we can manage your information and provide support. We also hold a hard copy file of essential documents for reference in a secure, locked environment.

We retain your record for as long as you are a student and delete them 6 years after you leave the University of Cambridge. 

Data on applicants, general enquirers and offer holders who do not attend the University of Cambridge are held for one year from the last date of contact.

The ADRC may use and share anonymised data for statistical analysis and evaluation to monitor quality and improve processes.

Sharing information in the Student Support Document

The Student Support Document (SSD) contains information about:

  • the impact of your disability
  • recommendations for adjustments

The SSD is stored in CamSIS, our student record system. Staff on the SSD distribution list can access it.

Details about the impact of study can only be accessed by people who need to know this information. For example, this could be your Director of Studies, Graduate Tutor or Departmental Administrator.

General library staff and lab managers will receive the SSD with recommendations but will not see the impact of study details.

If you have restricted your disclosure, only people mentioned on the SSD will see your information.

Completing online forms protected by Google reCAPTCHA

The Google reCAPTCHA service helps us prevent malicious and fraudulent activity using forms on our website. The service works by collecting hardware and software information, such as device and application data, and sending it to Google for analysis. Where Google identifies a form submission as high-risk, the form submission will be blocked.

The _grecaptcha key is stored in your browser's local storage, for this purpose.

Find out more about how Google processes your data in the Google Privacy and Terms notice.

Disclosing disabilities for fitness to practise

If you’re on a professional course such as medicine or veterinary medicine, there are additional requirements around fitness to practise. The professional body prescribes these requirements. It includes a requirement to disclose information about a disability. If you choose restricted disclosure, it may compromise your registration with the professional body later.

If you’re unsure whether this applies to you, or you’re concerned about the implications of disclosing a disability, contact your Disability Adviser.

How we use other people’s personal information

We work with other people across the University and here is how we use their information.

Find out about how we handle personal information, and your rights under data protection legislation.

University of Cambridge staff

Staff members are referred to us by Occupational Health while working at the University of Cambridge.

We receive your information on a form which we store on a stand-alone database. We also store any communication with you. This information is used within the ADRC only.  We retain these records for up to 2 years after the loan of equipment.

Non-Medical Helpers

If you provide support to a disabled student, your name and contact details will be passed on to the students you’re supporting. Your name and contact details will be held on the ADRC stand-alone database and your name on the pay-roll software. Any other information relating to assignments is held by the Temporary Employment Service.

Non-Medical Helper details are kept for up to 3 years after the end of their last assignment.

Subscribers to the Annual Disability Lecture mailing list and people booking tickets through Eventbrite

The ADRC uses your personal information to:

  • email news and events in line with your subscriptions to the Annual Disability Lecture mailing list
  • take your booking for the lecture if you wish to attend

With your permission, we use your name and email address to send you information you have requested. You can withdraw your consent at any time.

We use a third party provider, MailChimp, to send our emails and Eventbrite to take bookings. We share your name, email address and details of your subscriptions with MailChimp and Eventbrite.

We gather statistics about how many people open email and clicks links. We use industry standard technologies, including clear gifs, to track what content is popular and to improve the email content. For more information, see MailChimp's privacy notice and Eventbrite's privacy notice.

Any transfers of your data outside of the European Economic Area, for example to our email service provider, are protected either by an 'adequacy decision' by the European Commission (this declares that the recipient country is a 'safe' territory for personal data) or by standard contractual clauses adopted by the European Commission which give obligations for the recipient to safeguard the data.

We are committed to protecting your personal information and being transparent about what information we hold. For further details about how your information is used, how we maintain the security of your information, and your rights under data protection law, read our general data protection statement.