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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 raise general LSA building accessibility concerns, please email LSA-Facilities@umich.edu or contact the LSA Building Manager.

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

Report LSA Facility Accessibility Issues

Non-Emergency Issues

For non-emergency accessibility issues, such as an obstruction blocking most of a hallway or a broken door opener button, generate a support ticket by sending an email to LSA-Facilities@umich.edu.

Emergency Issues

For emergencies, which include elevator problems, power losses, or snow blocking entryways, please:

  1. Call the U-M Facilities and Operations Service Center immediately at 734-647-2059. 
  2. Notify LSA Facilities of the problem via email at LSA-Facilities@umich.edu.

Campus Accessibility

LSA employees also utilize services and facilities available to the broader U-M community, such as U-M's libraries, museums, transit services, healthcare, and recreation programs. Accessibility information is provided below for various 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

Michigan Medicine

Review the Michigan Medicine accessibility statement and Michigan Medicine patient accessibility resources.

Michigan Medicine offers two 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. Offers 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.

To report accessibility concerns or request snow removal contact the U-M Facilities Service Center at 734-647-2059 or send an email to fo-service-center@umich.edu. 

Sports & Recreation

Adaptive Sports Program

The U-M Adaptive Sports Program provides opportunities to try adaptive sports and to join university teams in Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Tennis, Track and Field, and Para-Equestrian.

Michigan Athletics

Some Michigan Athletics venues have comprehensive accessibility guides and guidance on wheelchair accessible seating, while others provide limited details online. Available venue accessibility information is linked below:

Accessibility questions for any Michigan Athletics facility can be directed to the Michigan Athletic Ticketing Office at 1-866-296-6849 or mtickets@umich.edu.

U-M Recreational Sports Facilities

Contact U-M Recreational Sports Facilities directly for information about accessibility.

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

The Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility SPG was launched in 2022 to codify U-M's commitment to creating a comprehensively accessible digital environment for individuals with disabilities. Electronic and information technology includes digital documents, media, software, and websites (both public websites and intranet websites). 

U-M resources that assist with digital accessibility and information about how to report digital accessibility issues is provided below. This section will be updated as new resources are added.

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 assists with identifying tools, equipment, and strategies to align employee abilities with job functions and work environments. The program requires a physician referral. Possible solutions include adaptive and ergonomic technology (e.g. keyboard, mouse, digital pens) and referrals for assistive technology evaluations (e.g. screen reader software, speech-to-text software, and screen magnifiers). Equipment and software trials may be available. The LSA Disability Navigators cover the cost of recommended technologies for LSA employees through the LSA Central Accommodations Fund.

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). 

Digital Accessibility Office Hours

Join Jessica on certain Wednesdays from 12 to 1 pm ET on Zoom for digital accessibility office hours. These office hours are an opportunity for LSA employees and past workshop attendees to consult with Jessica on the accessibility of online materials such as documents, videos, audio recordings, and images.

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/91505103964 (Join via your U-M Zoom account. No registration required.)

Winter 2023 office hours will be held on:

  • January 18
  • February 1
  • February 8
  • February 22
  • March 8
  • March 22
  • April 5

Cancellation of office hours will be noted on this website. Individuals interested in website accessibility should sign up for a Web Accessibility Consultation with LSA Technology Services.

Report Digital Accessibility Issues

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

LSA Event Accessibility

The College of LSA strives to make sure that all of our events are inclusive, welcoming, and accessible with an ultimate goal of universal access to every event. To support event accessibility, the LSA Disability Navigators offer the following resources and services.

Standard Accommodations Language for LSA Events

As best practice, LSA departments planning events should identify a point person to receive accommodation requests and include the following statement in all event materials (promotional flyers and emails, registration forms, etc.): 

“The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) greatly values inclusion and access for all. We are pleased to provide reasonable accommodations to enable your full participation in this event. Please contact [Point Person for Accommodations] at [U-M Email Address or Phone Number] if you would like to request disability accommodations or have any questions or concerns. We ask that you provide advance notice to ensure sufficient time to meet requested accommodations.”

If the point person requires assistance with implementing accommodations at events, they may contact the Disability Navigators for help.

Event Accessibility Consultation

LSA employees may contact the Disability Navigators to request a consultation on event accessibility. During our consultations, we will explore accessibility for the various aspects of attendee experience, such as:

  • venue facilities (parking, restrooms, entryways, etc.)
  • venue seating/setup and sightlines
  • wayfinding
  • event materials and presentations
  • sound and lighting
  • accessibility services (CART, ASL interpretation, etc.)

Funding for Event Accessibility Services

LSA departments may be able to access central funding for accessibility services at events, such as real-time captioning or American Sign Language interpretation, if the event meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The event is large in scale (inviting or anticipating at least 50 participants)
  • The event is open to and inviting members of the public

  • Event organizations are aware of (or anticipating) event participants who may need reasonable accommodations

  • The event will share critical information applicable to the broad college community and be open to any member of LSA (e.g., college-wide policy updates or responses to incidents that impact a sizable portion of the college community)

Please contact the LSA Disability Navigators (LSA.Disability.Navigators@umich.edu) to determine if your event is eligible. If eligible, the Navigators will work with you to assess reasonable event accessibility services, provide guidance on how to deliver an acccessible event, provide referrals to relevant service providers, and allocate funding for approved services.

Note: Event accessibility services and accommodations are distinct from academic accommodations for students or workplace accommodations for employees. Employee requests for accommodations at recurring work-related events (such as department, team, or supervisory meetings) should be submitted through the individualized accommodations process. Student requests for academic accommodations should be addressed to Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).

Additional Resources

General
In-Person Events
  • U-M Conference and Event Services (734-764-2000 or conferences@umich.edu) for accessibility information for U-M venues including the League, Michigan Union, and Pierpont Commons

Virtual Events

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