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Disability Support

Wheelchair Rentals

The university will not have wheelchairs available for general use by guests over commencement weekend. If you have a guest who needs the assistance of a wheelchair, we recommend you either bring your own or rent from a third party vendor.

Guests may set up wheelchair rentals directly through AU's preferred vendor, Scootaround. Reservations should be made well in advance of commencement weekend as supplies may be limited.  Since Scootaround is a third party vendor, guests are responsible for making their own arrangements including payment, delivery, and return. See Scootaround's web pages for Fall Commencement rentals and Spring Commencement rentals for dates, pricing, and available mobility equipment.

Arrival on Campus

An arrival time of at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony is recommended. Please note that guests will not have access to Bender Arena until doors open approximately 45 minutes to one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests are encouraged to allow enough time to park and be seated 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony, since the lobby is closed during the processional, which starts approximately 10 minutes before the ceremony.

Parking

Guests with valid state-issued handicapped permits or plates requiring accessible parking will be permitted to park in the Sports Center Parking Garage adjacent to Bender Arena. No AU parking pass is required. Parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Accessible Entrance

Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility at an accessible entrance before proceeding to their designated parking garage. This entrance, located on the south side of Bender Arena across from the Asbury Building, allows for ground-level access to the ceremony area. AU PD staff will be present in the parking areas to direct vehicles to this entrance. Parking lots and the accessible entrance to Bender Arena are indicated on the campus map.

Special Seating

A seating section, located next to the ground-level entrance to Bender Arena, will be available for senior citizens and persons with physical disabilities and their families. Reservations are not required. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters and closed captioning will be provided.

Getting Around Campus

The campus map shows the suggested pedestrian route from the Bender Arena accessible exit to the various reception venues.

During the Spring Commencement ceremonies, golf carts will circulate after each ceremony to transport guests with limited mobility from the Bender Arena accessible entrance to the reception location. Transportation is on a first-come, first- served basis for approximately 30 minutes after the end of each ceremony.

Contact Us

Guests and graduates who have questions about accessibility or special needs should contact the Academic Support and Access Center by phone at 202-885-3360 v/tty or email. 

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