Disabilities

Wheelchair Reservations

Due to a limited quantity of complimentary wheelchairs and a high volume of requests, we regret that we are no longer taking wheelchair reservations for Commencement 2017. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list please fill out this form.

For information about handicapped seating at Commencement events and handicapped parking and shuttles, please see below.

Wheelchair Pickup and Dropoff

If you have made a reservation, you may pickup your reserved wheelchair(s) in Room 112 of William L. Harkness Hall (WLH), located at 100 Wall Street, at the following times:

  • Thursday, May 18 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 19 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 20 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 21 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 

Wheelchairs may be dropped off at the following times:

  • Monday, May 22 between 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in WLH 112
  • Tuesday, May 23 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. in WLH 112

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive Listening Devices are available for guests attending Commencement and Class Day ceremonies on Old Campus and Baccalaureate services in Woolsey Hall.

Handicapped Dropoff Near Old Campus

A designated handicapped drop-off area for Class Day (Sunday, May 21) and Commencement (Monday, May 22) is located at Lot 51, Temple Street. This drop-off site is approximately one block from Old Campus. Staff will provide directions to Old Campus.

On Commencement day (Monday, May 22), drop off for handicapped guests can also be made at Elm and High Streets, the intersection closest to our area of reserved seating for wheelchair users and their families. No special sticker is needed, and we will have ushers available to assist. Drop-off should be no later than 9:40 a.m., since streets surrounding Old Campus will be closed shortly thereafter in preparation for our procession, which begins promptly at 10 a.m. Following drop-off, drivers will be given instructions to Lot 26V at Ingalls Rink. A shuttle van will bring the driver back to Old Campus.

Drivers can also choose to park at Science Park Garage, 276 Winchester Avenue, on Monday only, where a shuttle will run beginning at 8:00 a.m. Return shuttles to the garage will run from Phelps Gate until 5:30 p.m. All shuttle service ends at 6 p.m. Please note that this Science Park shuttle service from/to Old Campus is provided on Monday only.

Please provide ample time for drop off, moving your car, and returning to Old Campus. If you prefer, you can also access paid parking downtown in the York Street or Temple Street public parking garages. On-street parking during Commencement weekend is scarce and usually limited to two hours or less.

Handicapped Parking

Cars with valid handicapped tags or license plates from any state or cars using handicapped drop-off locations will be accommodated in Yale Lot 51, Temple Street from 4:00 p.m. Friday through 12:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Shuttle Service to Old Campus

Wheelchair-accessible vans and other transport vehicles are on-call 24 hours a day on Commencement weekend. To schedule a pick-up, please call 203-432-9255 (or dial 2-WALK from blue campus phones). Please call 30 minutes before desired pick-up. Please let the dispatcher know whether you need an accessible van or if you can be accommodated by a sedan or SUV.

Although shuttles are available to take Commencement guests to some diploma ceremonies, the streets surrounding Old Campus are extremely congested. Guests of colleges and schools at a distance from Old Campus may find it convenient to use a wheelchair for frail family members. Unfortunately, due to a limited quantity of complimentary wheelchairs and a high volume of requests, we regret that we are no longer taking wheelchair reservations for Commencement 2017. If you have not already reserved a wheelchair but would like to be placed on the waiting list, please fill out this webform.

Some professional schools reserve buses to take their Commencement guests to diploma ceremonies. These buses will be parked on College Street, facing north. Contact the school’s dean’s office for details.

Seating for Baccalaureate, Woolsey Hall

Guests using wheelchairs should access Woolsey Hall from Hewitt Quadrangle, also known as Beinecke Plaza. There will be signs leading from the plaza to the entrance of Woolsey Hall. These guests may also find it more convenient to sit on the ground floor of Woolsey Hall for the Baccalaureate Ceremony.

Seating for Commencement and Class Day, Old Campus

Old Campus is a relatively flat, grassy rectangle with accessible entrances on College, High, and Chapel Streets. In addition to these accessible public entrances, persons with disabilities or those who are frail along with accompanying family members may enter Old Campus via a specially marked gate on High Street near the Yale Post Office. This entrance leads to an area of reserved seating for persons with disabilities or those who are frail in addition to all accompanying family members. There is a jumbo screen in front of this section that provides a clear picture of the ceremonies and ASL interpretation. Guests can also ask a volunteer in this area for an assistive listening device. There is no restriction on number of accompanying family members, and we are usually able to accommodate all who wish to sit in this area. All of Old Campus is accessible, however, should you prefer to sit elsewhere.

Accessible Restrooms on Old Campus

The Old Campus service map, which can be downloaded here, highlights the locations of all accessible restrooms on Old Campus. A similar map will be featured in the Commencement program.

Rain

Unless weather conditions are dangerous or severe, Commencement and Class Day will take place outside on Old Campus, although processions and programs may be shortened.

Guests in wheelchairs and all accompanying family members may view simulcasts of Class Day and Commencement in Linsly Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street. Additional simulcast and livestream information can be found below. 

Diploma ceremonies in some residential colleges and schools may be moved to alternative locations, which will be posted as they become available.

Simulcast and Livestreams

Class Day and Commencement, in addition to the Graduate School Diploma Ceremony, are available for livestreaming from the Yale YouTube Channel. Livestreams of major ceremonies will also be posted to this site’s homepage on the weekend of Commencement.

Simulcasts of Class Day exercises will be available for viewing at the following locations, all of which are wheelchair accessible: 

  • ​Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street
  • Battell Chapel, 400 College Street
  • Levinson Auditorium, Yale Law School, 127 Wall Street

Simulcasts of Monday’s Commencement ceremony will be available for viewing at Linsly-Chittenden Hall and Battell Chapel. 

Access Map

The interactive Yale Campus map includes information about building accessibility. Click on the building you are seeking information on or use the search navigation bar to find a building or area on campus. Once you have selected the building, click on the drop down labeled “Accessibility” to find accessibility details. For other questions about campus accessibility, please contact Judy York (judith.york@yale.edu), Director of the Resource Office on Disabilities.

There will be accessible portable restrooms on High Street opposite the special wheelchair entrance and at other sites listed on the map in the back of the Commencement program.