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Disability Accommodations

The University of Tennessee encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you are a graduating student with a disability or will have a guest with a disability, please fill in the appropriate section on the Commencement RSVP form to make arrangements prior to the ceremony.

General note for graduates: All students will be seated in a reserved section on the arena floor and will cross a ramp to shake hands with the dean (there are no steps to navigate). For further information on how to access the floor, please see the above section regarding elevator access. Graduates with concerns or questions should contact the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at ehhsappts@utk.edu.

General note for guests: Large screens will project the ceremony and each graduate as he/she crosses the stage, so guests need not sit close to the stage to have a “good seat.” Should you need assistance, please see an usher or commencement worker.

Disabled Parking and Elevator Access

Graduates and guests with disabilities who enter the arena from Phillip Fulmer Way may use an elevator located inside the double-door entrance of McAlister’s Deli. Guests should take the elevator to the third floor to access the concourse level seating area; graduating students should take the elevator to the ground floor to access the reserved seating area for graduates.

Graduates and guests with disabilities who wish to park near the arena would be best accommodated in the following areas:

  • The Neyland Parking Garage (G-10) has 40 spaces reserved for disabled parking and is adjacent to the arena. Persons requiring the use of a wheelchair or those with mobility concerns may best access the arena via a bridge on the top level of the garage (accessible by an elevator to guests parked on other levels). Graduates with a physical disability who access the arena via this bridge should take the elevator by section 110 to access the reserved seating area for graduates on the ground floor.
  • For more details about parking for guests with disabilities, please contact the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at ehhsappts@utk.edu.

Seating for Persons in Wheelchairs

Graduates, please note on the Commencement RSVP form if you or any of your guests require the use of a wheelchair. Wheelchairs are not provided by the arena or university. Tickets are not required for guests, but this information will assist us in planning.

Guests: Areas will be designated on the concourse level (third floor) for guests requiring wheelchairs. The rows in front of these alcoves will be reserved for persons with mobility concerns, but one companion seat is allotted per guest in these designated areas.

Persons with Mobility Concerns

Graduates, please note on the Commencement RSVP form if you or any of your guests have mobility concerns (e.g., use a walker/cane, are unable to navigate many stairs). Please be as specific as possible when noting the number of guests with disabilities.

Guests: The top two rows of each lower-level seating section will be reserved for persons with mobility concerns, plus one companion. From the concourse level, guests will need to go down a minimum of one step to enter the seating area. Although tickets are not required for guests, we ask that this area remain free for those with mobility concerns.

Interpreter Services

A sign language interpreter (using American Sign Language) will be projected onto the large screens provided during commencement. Graduates, please note on the Commencement RSVP form if you or any of your guests require these services.

Braille Copies of Commencement Program

A limited number of commencement programs printed in Braille will be available at the ceremony. Please notify a commencement worker if a copy is needed, and he/she will be happy to locate one for you. Graduates, please note on the Commencement RSVP form if you or any of your guests will require a Braille copy of the program.

Additional Needs

If you or your guests anticipate needing any other type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at ehhsappts@utk.edu prior to the ceremony.

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