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Commencement Address

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In the rich tradition of Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin, the university-wide Commencement ceremony on Saturday evening is held in front of the Tower. In consideration of crowd safety and the physical confines of the location, parking in and around the Tower is extremely limited. This presents a challenge to guests and participants with mobility impairments who would traditionally take advantage of handicapped parking spaces in the area. To help minimize inconvenience, the following services are available for those who need assistance getting to and from the Commencement site.

Reserved Parking: Reserved parking for persons with state-issued handicapped permits will be available in the parking lot located on the northwest corner of Dean Keeton Street and Whitis Street (campus lot F-27) or in any handicapped space on campus that is not restricted due to Commencement.

Free Disability Services Shuttle: For people parking in the F-27 lot, northwest corner of Dean Keeton Street and Whitis Street, a Disability Services Shuttle will transport you to and from the Tower for Commencement. This service will begin at 5:30 p.m., and continue after the event until all guests have been assisted.

Disability Services Drop Off Location: Guests and participants with mobility impairments may be dropped off near the Tower prior to the evening Commencement ceremony and picked up at that same location following the program. To access the drop off location, enter campus on 24th Street from the west. At the corner of 24th Street and Whitis, the guard at the guard station will direct you to the drop off location. Once the passenger has been dropped off, the driver will need to immediately find regular parking in public parking spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I have a disabled or elderly passenger who cannot walk very far. What should I do?

A: Drop them off at the Disability Services Drop Off Location. Staff will be available with wheelchairs to assist persons to seating locations reserved for people with disabilities. Following the ceremony, staff will also assist guests in returning to the drop off location.

Please Note: A limited number of complimentary wheelchairs are available to transport guests with special needs to the reserved seating section. Wheelchairs are not available for persons requiring a wheelchair for the duration of the program. Due to limited space, the reserved seating area is restricted to the person with the disability and one guest. Additional members of your party should sit in regular public seating areas.

Q: I am driving to the ceremony and have a state-issued handicapped parking permit. Where can I park?

A: Park in reserved parking in campus lot F-27, northwest corner of Dean Keeton Street and Whitis Street, the Disability Services Shuttle will be available to transport you to the Tower for Commencement.

Q: My family member is deaf or hard of hearing. Will there be an interpreter or any other accommodations for them?

A: A sign language interpreter will interpret the entire ceremony. Reserved seating for those with hearing impairments will be available on the west side of the stage (to the left as you face the stage). Due to limited space, the reserved seating area is restricted to the person with the hearing impairment and one guest. Additional members of your party should sit in public seating areas.

Closed captioning is not provided on the video screens.

Q: Where can I find accessible restrooms at the university-wide ceremony?

A: A list of accessible restrooms will be available at Disability Services tables (located near Littlefield Fountain and also west of the Tower). Buildings adjacent to the Tower and South Mall will have signs directing people to “Restroom” locations that are available to the public. Locations with accessible restrooms will be identified by signage with the handicapped symbol.


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