Why do I need to provide a student's name? What about confidentiality?
To meet its obligations under the Copyright Act, Bookshare must collect certain personal information about its users, including its student users. Bookshare uses the information it collects to confirm that students have a qualifying print disability and that their use of the Bookshare service complies with the law. Bookshare collects only the information it needs to perform these legal functions, to provide its service effectively, and to meet its reporting obligations to OSEP and other entities. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits educational institutions and agencies to disclose this information to Bookshare as a service provider to those organizations. Bookshare encourages the educational agencies and institutions it serves to determine whether any additional privacy laws apply in their jurisdiction. For educational institutions that prefer not to provide student names, Bookshare permits the use of pseudonyms or numerical identifiers instead.
Bookshare maintains the personal information it collects in strictest confidence. Bookshare is subject to, and complies with, FERPA, and has the same legal obligation to protect student privacy as the schools and other educational institutions it serves. Bookshare stores its users' personal information securely, limits internal access to it, and does not share it with any other entity without user permission.
For educational agencies that still prefer to keep student names private, Bookshare allows student numbers or pseudonyms in place of student names if the educational agency submits a Confidentiality Rider form. The use of pseudonyms, while on one level protecting students' privacy also adds complications to the students' ability to obtain book in accessible formats. Students listed under a pseudonym wanting individual memberships (rather than having books downloaded for them), or transferring to another school are likely to have to resubmit their proof of disability by themselves or through their new school. On the other hand, students registered under their own names can continue their Bookshare membership from school to school, and request their own memberships, because Bookshare has their proof of disability.
Please contact Bookshare to request a Confidentiality Rider form.