13.15 Campus Accessibility & Accommodations of Disabilities


To provide guidelines regarding the University’s compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and other applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

Policy Statement 

No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination by the University. This policy applies to all aspects of campus activities including employment, education, student programming, and services provided to the community at-large.

Requesting Accommodations

Student Academic & Campus Experience Accommodations.  In order to receive assistance with requests for academic accommodations and accommodations related to their general campus experience, a student with a disability must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS). University employees in a role of delivering accommodations to students are encouraged to engage with SAS to address questions or concerns with the implementation of approved academic or campus experience accommodations.  The accommodation process related to pregnancy and parenting can be accessed through Student Care through the Office of the Dean of Students

Student Housing & Dining Accommodations.  In order to receive assistance with requests for University Housing & Dining accommodations, contracted students with a disability must contact SAS.

Student Employee Accommodations.  UNI student employees with disabilities who are seeking reasonable accommodations in the workplace are encouraged to speak with their supervisor or HRS regarding their needs.  The nature of workplace accommodations may differ from academic accommodations students may already receive.

 Employment Accommodations.  Employees with disabilities who face barriers in the workplace may request reasonable accommodations by notifying their supervisor or contacting the Leave & Accommodations Coordinator in Human Resource Services (HRS) to begin the interactive process.

Supervisors must notify the Leave & Accommodations Coordinator when employees need and/or request workplace accommodations so each situation may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Job applicants who need reasonable accommodations during the application or hiring process should contact the HRS employment team

Campus Events

Programs and Events.  All University programs and events are to provide access to individuals with disabilities.  It is the responsibility of the sponsoring department to arrange necessary accommodations.  The sponsoring department should identify the individual(s) responsible for handling accommodation requests.

To ensure accessibility in all programs and events, the following statement is to be placed in program announcements:

If you need a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program/event, please contact (sponsoring department or contact person) at (telephone number and email) prior to the event.

If the event includes food, event organizers should work to take into account dietary restrictions of participants.

Any individual (student, university employee, or visitor) who plans to attend an event on campus and wishes to request an accommodation should contact the sponsoring department or contact person for the event. 

Large-scale and Major Campus Audience Events.  Large-scale major university events include but are not limited to commencement, convocation, conferences, summits, and similar events that focus on speakers conveying information to audience members.

Large-scale University events involving speakers and large-scale projection screens will use screen in screen placement as needed to provide the opportunity for audience members to see all content. In addition, major University events will plan for the inclusion of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. 

Common accommodations to be included in event planning include:

  • Preferential seating including extra space for wheelchairs, service animals, personal assistants, and clear sight lines to the interpreter
  • Portable/personal amplification systems
  • Captioned media
  • Alternative formats for printed materials
  • Program relocation to a more accessible space as necessary
  • Signage for location of accessible restrooms, elevators, and entrances

Commencement will prepare for live and/or previously prepared closed-captioning throughout the event, as well as ASL interpreters.  Care will be taken to communicate to participating students the ability to request additional accommodations for themselves and/or guests.

General Services

All services and activities available to the student population will be made available to students with disabilities unless the availability of the service or activity causes an undue hardship or will fundamentally alter the nature of the service or activity. 

Web Sites. All University web pages must be compliant with the guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to assure accessibility.

Videos.  All University-sponsored videos are to include closed-captioning before being posted or utilized, regardless of whether the video is pre-recorded or live streamed, and regardless of where/how the video is posted.   

University Facilities

Renovations and Alterations. Renovations and alterations to university space must be coordinated through Facilities Management (see Policy 9.61) to ensure compliance with State and Federal requirements.  Universal design concepts will be utilized when feasible.  It is the responsibility of Facilities Management to ensure all contracted facilities work meets ADA guidelines.           

Facilities planning committees for new buildings, renovations, and alterations to existing buildings will include and/or take specific steps to consult with individuals with experience and/or professional knowledge of accommodation best practices and ADA guidelines throughout the planning process.

Campus Maps.  The campus map is linked in the footer of the university web site. For areas where improvements are being made and walkways, parking, and accessibility may be impacted, view the current construction map.  A priority route map indicating paths prioritized for maintenance (including snow removal) is posted on the SAS website.

Maintaining Accessibility.  The campus community is encouraged to take responsibility in ensuring the accessibility of our campus.  Problematic areas should be reported to Facilities Management by calling 319.273.4400.

  • Access to interior and exterior doorways, entrances, pathways, including signage, must be kept open and unobstructed by furniture, boxes, vehicles, or other barriers.
  • Golf carts, university vehicles/gators/carts, contractor vehicles and equipment, etc. are to be parked away from entrances and in a manner as to not block pathways and/or access to automatic door openers.
  • Snow removal is done as quickly as possible and as weather conditions permit.  Problematic areas should be brought to the attention of Facilities Management.
  • Construction zones that have an impact on pathways will be communicated to campus via electronic student and employee newsletters and the current construction map.

Emergencies.  Information on evacuation routes and evacuation chair locations can be found at Campus Emergencies.


For additional information, visit https://uni.edu/resources/accessibility.  

Reporting a Concern:
If an individual feels their rights under the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA, the ADAAA, the FHA, and/or other similar federal or state law have been violated, they may consult with the Office of Compliance and Equity Management and/or utilize the procedures outlined in Policy 13.02 Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.  Leah Gutknecht, Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management, is the designated ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer, and can be contacted at leah.gutknecht@uni.edu, 319.273.2846, or 117 Gilchrist.

For additional information, visit https://uni.edu/resources/accessibility or contact the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, 117 Gilchrist, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA  50614-0028, 319.273.2846, equity@uni.eduhttps://equity.uni.edu/

Related policies

8.09 Animals on University Owned or Controlled Property

13.02 Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Office of Compliance and Equity Management, approved November 14, 2022
University Council, approved February 13, 2023
President and President’s Cabinet, approved February 27, 2023 
[Last reviewed and/or updated: 2/2023, 1/2019, 12/2013]