Skip to main content
Student Disability Services, Book titles such as what matters in college, on course, the rise of the creative
Student Disability Services

SDS Resources for Faculty

Accessibility has to do with the degree to which an environment, service, or opportunity is accessible to all. The term is often used with respect to people with disabilities; simply stated, it means "the ability to access and benefit."  Universal Design (UD) and accessibility are related in that UD focuses on making all things accessible to all people and often includes physical, programmatic, and technological access.

The University is mandated by law to provide equitable access for all its educational programs, opportunities and services to all people with disabilities. This includes providing accessible locations for classes, programs, and services offered by the institution. If multiple sections of a course are offered, at least one section of the course must be in an accessible location. For students with mobility impairments, classes must be located in buildings with ground-level entry, working elevators (if the class is not located on the ground level), and doorways that are at least 32" wide. Classes must be relocated either temporarily or permanently if these specifications are not met. Accessibility is not, however, limited to students with mobility impairments. The needs of students with visual and hearing impairments must also be taken into consideration when selecting locations for classes and programs. Specific accommodations for these students are covered in the sections on visual impairments and hearing impairments.