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Accessibility at U-M

Products, services, processes, and environments are considered accessible when they are usable by people with disabilities.

The University of Michigan is required under laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (as revised, 2008) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508) to ensure facilities, programs, information technology, and communications are accessible to a set of minimum standards set by the Department of Justice and U.S. Access Board.

Exceptions to the Minimum ADA Standards

There are some exceptions to the minimum accessibility standards set by the Access Board:

  1. University facilities built before the ADA Standards for Accessible Design came into force are allowed to be in nonconformance with the standards. However, if spaces open to the public or students within these facilities are renovated, the space needs to be brought into compliance with the most recent version of the standards. 

  2. Employee work areas (facilities used exclusively by employees for work) have very limited accessibility requirements under the ADA. Employee work areas must have visible alarms, a way for individuals with disabilities to approach, enter, and exit, and accessible circulation paths if they are 1000 square feet or larger. Employee work areas may be made more accessible in cases where an individual employee requires changes as a part of disability-related accommodations. ADA Standards do apply to employee restrooms, break rooms, and kitchenettes because these rooms are used for non-work activities. 

  3. Accessibility may exceed the minimum standards in cases where an individual's disability-related accommodations require it. For example, a toggle light switch meets the minimum ADA standards but may be inaccessible to an individual whose disability affects fine motor control. Installation of a push plate switch, which has a larger surface area and requires less force to operate, may be required as part of this individual's ADA accommodations.

LSA Facility Accessibility

LSA Facilities & Operations oversees LSA building accessibility, including entryways into our buildings. They also manage the LSA furniture stock, including adaptive furniture such as adjustable-height tables. 

Information about accessible entry-points and elevator access in LSA buildings is available through this interactive campus map.

Request Facility or Furniture Modifications

To request building modifications or different furniture to accommodate an employee with a disability, contact the LSA Disability Navigators for assistance (LSA.Disability.Navigators@umich.edu). 

Report LSA Facility Accessibility Issues

For general accessibility concerns, such as blocked walkways or broken door opener buttons, submit a support request using the LSA Facilities Self Guided Form or generate a ticket by sending an email to LSA-Facilities@umich.edu.

For building emergencies, including elevator problems and power losses, call the U-M Facilities and Operations Service Center immediately at 734-647-2059. Then notify LSA Facilities of the problem via email at LSA-Facilities@umich.edu.

Campus Accessibility

LSA employees utilize campus facilities beyond the buildings they work in, including U-M libraries, museums, transit services, outdoor spaces, walkways, and parking structures. Accessibility information is provided below for these types of campus spaces and services.

Event Spaces

U-M's Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion created an Accessible and Inclusive Events Resource Guide which includes a checklist of accessibility features to look for in venues as well as a table that outlines accessible features of popular event venues on central campus. 

To inquire about accessibility in centrally-managed buildings including the League, Michigan Union, and Pierpont Commons, contact U-M Conference and Event Services at (734) 764-2000 or conferences@umich.edu.

Accessibility information for LSA-managed event spaces is forthcoming.

Healthcare & Fitness Services

Fitness Centers & Programs

Adaptive Sports Program - Opportunities to try out adaptive sports and join university teams in Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Tennis, Track and Field, and Para-Equestrian.

Recreational Sports Facilities - Contact U-M's recreational sports facilities directly for information about accessibility.

Healthcare Centers & Programs

Michigan Medicine

Michigan Medicine has developed an accessibility statement and list of patient accessibility resources as well as disability-focused programs: 

MDisability - Program focused on improving the inclusion of people with disabilities in healthcare settings. Meet with doctors who specialize in specific disabilities, attend Deaf Health Talks, find accessible COVID testing sites, and learn about current research projects. Check out their Docs with Disabilities Podcast!

Center for Disability Health and Wellness - An innovative research, clinical, and educational program which aims to address inequities in healthcare access, quality, and outcomes for those with disabilities. Opportunities to participate in studies, join educational events, and become part of the research network.

Plan your visit using the Medical Campus building floor maps and the Parking at Michigan Medicine webpage.

University Health Service

University Health Service accessibility information

Libraries

The U-M Library Services for Patrons with Disabilities webpage provides information on:

  • library hours and locations
  • building accessibility details (including floor plans, amenities, and parking and transportation information)
  • how to request accessible copies of library materials 
  • how to request accommodations for library visits

Museums

Information about the accessibility of U-M's museums that are open to the public:

Contact U-M's Research Museums directly for information about the accessibility of their spaces and collections.

Non-LSA Buildings

Information about accessible entry-points and elevator access in non-LSA buildings is available through this interactive campus map.

Report an Issue

Report accessibility issues in non-LSA buildings to the U-M Facilities Service Center at 734-647-2059.

Accommodations for Instructional Employees

LSA faculty members and instructional staff who are assigned to teach in non-LSA buildings and require disability-related accommodations in the classroom should contact the LSA Disability Navigators for assistance (LSA.Disability.Navigators@umich.edu). Accommodations may include modifications to a teaching space, on-site adaptive technology, and/or modifications to furniture.

Outdoor Spaces & Snow Removal

U-M's outdoor spaces including parking areas, sidewalks, and roadways are maintained by U-M Facilities and Operations. Accessibility concerns related to outdoor spaces can be directed to the U-M Facilities Service Center at 734-647-2059 or fo-service-center@umich.edu. 

Snow Removal

To request snow removal from sidewalks and entryways, contact the U-M Facilities Service Center at 734-647-2059.

To request snow removal from a U-M parking area, contact the U-M Facilities Service Center at 734-647-2059 or complete the Snow Removal Request Form.

Transportation & Parking

This map of central campus parking structures includes a table that indicates which U-M structures have accessible spaces. U-M employees and students can register for a campus accessible parking permit, request a reserved accessible parking space, and sign up to use free paratransit services

Ann Arbor provides downtown accessible parking information as well as an interactive parking map with an on-street accessible parking feature. 

Digital Accessibility

Members of the public, students, and U-M employees with disabilities have a right to information in an accessible format. Most of the information we share at U-M is now in a digital format, which means it is important to ensure digital documents, media, software, and websites (both public websites and intranet websites) are accessible. More information is provided below about U-M resources that assist with digital accessibility as well as tools to report digital accessibility issues.

Assistive Technology

LSA employees who require assistive technology to perform work should contact the LSA Disability Navigators (LSA.Disability.Navigators@umich.edu) to be connected to appropriate specialists at U-M, such as those in the MHealthy Medical Ergonomics program.

MHealthy Medical Ergonomics requires a referral from a doctor and can help employees identify adaptive and ergonomic technology (e.g. keyboard, mouse, digital pens) that will lessen risk of injury or discomfort while at work. The program also provides referrals for assistive technology evaluations. Examples of assistive technologies are screen reader software, speech-to-text software, and screen magnifiers.

Sites public computers are located throughout campus and provide some assistive software. Contact Sites.Knox@umich.edu for more information.

Documents & Media

Documents

U-M offers this How to Create Accessible Documents guide and Content Accessibility Quick Tips.

Media

MiVideo is U-M's video streaming service which is free for any employee to use. It has an automatic captioning feature (robot-generated captions) and offers an option to pay for human-generated captions.

Library Resources

U-M Library Services for Patrons with Disabilities can provide accessible copies of U-M library materials by request.

Textbooks & Course Materials

How to Access E-textbooks and Course Materials as Accessible Digital Documents 

 

Software

ITS Accessible Computing Resource - Information about the accessibility of Canvas, Google apps, and Dropbox.

U-M Software Accessibility Guide - Information about the accessibility of commonly used software including Slack, Wolverine Access, and Zoom.

For information about the accessibility of other software, contact LSA Technology Services at 734-615-0100 or LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu.

Websites

The IT Accessibility at U-M website and LSA Technology Services Web Accessibility webpage offer guidance on creating accessible websites. 

The U-M Web Accessibility Working Group facilitates a community of practice that is open to anyone to join and provides space to share best practices and ask website accessibility questions.

For assistance with website accessibility, request a one-on-one web accessibility consultation with LSA Technology Services (LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu or 734-615-0100). 

Report Digital Accessibility Issues

To report digital accessibility issues, contact accessibility@umich.edu.

Contact the LSA Disability Navigators

Scheduled in-person and virtual appointments are available by request. Drop-in appointments are not being offered at this time.

Complete the Disability Navigators Meeting Request Form

Email: LSA.Disability.Navigators@umich.edu

Primary Office: 555 S. Forest Avenue, Suite 306, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Secondary Office: LSA Chemistry Building, 930 N. University Avenue, Suite 1547, Ann Arbor, MI 48109