Disability Services

The University has a host of services available to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy Commencement to the fullest. Commencement Weekend transportation is available on campus via RIPTA shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vans, Rhody Van shuttles and golf carts.

There are no fees for disability services or for the use of materials such as FM listening devices or wheelchairs. A driver’s license is required as a deposit and will be returned when items are returned to the Disability Station.

Services Available to You

Guests requiring reserved seating, wheelchairs, wheelchair-accessible vans, sign language interpreters or assistive-listening devices, or other services should complete a request form (TBA) by May 14. If you have a physical or medical condition, reserve a priority parking permit (TBA) no later than May 9.

The University cannot guarantee requests after that date.


For those who are ambulatory but cannot walk long distances, transportation from the parking lots to all graduation ceremony sites will be available. RIPTA shuttles, wheelchair accessible vans, Rhody Van shuttles and golf carts will be circling campus parking lots, as well as the various ceremony locations. There may be a short wait, depending upon the number of people requesting this service. Please see the Commencement Shuttle Map (TBA) for transportation routes.

Disability Assistance

Disability assistance will be available for the Saturday ceremonies at the north entrance of the Ryan Center. On Sunday, there are two Disability Stations for wheelchair distribution; on the upper campus next to East Hall at the northeast corner of the quadrangle, and on the lower campus outside of Mackal Field House (see map – TBA). Each ceremony site will also have a person available with assistive-listening devices and for other disability-related concerns.

Sign language interpreters

ASL Interpreters will be at both the Graduate Ceremony on Saturday and the Main Undergraduate Ceremony on Sunday in the reserved seating area at both locations. Reserved seating will be provided for the person requiring the interpreter and one companion.

Assisted-listening devices

These are available at each college ceremony site both days and at East Hall Disability Station for the Main Ceremony on the quad on Sunday.


For those requesting additional mobility assistance, a limited number of wheelchairs will be available at the Disability Station at the Ryan Center on Saturday. On Sunday, wheelchairs will be available outside of East Hall on Upper College Road and outside of Mackal Field House. Reservations are necessary and will be held until 30 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony, after which wheelchairs will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you own a wheelchair, we recommend you bring it with you.

Disability seating

  • Ryan Center: Disability seating is located at various levels of the Ryan Center ceremonies; please visit the Ryan Center guest services page for information. Seating is limited to the person with a disability and one guest.
  • Main Commencement Ceremony on the quad: Reserved seating for people using wheelchairs and others with limited mobility is limited to groups of no more than four people (the individual requiring disability seating with three companions, or a couple with two companions). Reservations will be held until noon only.
  • Individual College Ceremonies: Wheelchair seating is available and limited to the person using the wheelchair and one guest. Locations utilizing bleacher seating have a limited number of seats available for people with mobility difficulties on a first come basis.

Please review the college ceremony locations and schedule to determine the most convenient parking location for you and your guests. Spaces for vehicles displaying state-issued disability placards or license plates are available in all lots. Priority parking permits are available to be picked up in advance and allow parking in disability parking spaces on campus during the weekend. Call the Visitors Center at 401.874.2133, for more information about parking.

If you have questions regarding Disability Services for Commencement Weekend, please call the Disability Services office at 401.874.2098. For TTY assistance, please call the Rhode Island Relay Service at 711.

The University also has specific parking guidelines for the various Colleges’ ceremonies. Learn more about parking on Commencement Weekend.

Are Pets Allowed?

Only Certified Service Animals are permitted on campus during Commencement exercises. Pets and Emotional Support Animals are not allowed.

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