The University of Washington has long been involved with equal access to its facilities and programs for students, faculty and staff. In 1978, the first edition of the Access Guide was published by Disabled Student Services as an aid to navigation of the campus for persons with disabilities.
In January of 1992, the University formed the Standing Committee on Accessibility. This Committee advises Facilities Services and Capital Projects Office regarding improvements to the physical environment.
In July of 2007, Nicki McCraw was appointed as ADA Coordinator for the University of Washington. She is the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources for the Medical Centers Operations. As ADA Coordinator, she has responsibilities related to employment, program and facility access issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Access Guide is designed to help students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities locate appropriate routes on the Seattle campus and find appropriate entrances within buildings. The Access Guide may be helpful primarily to persons with mobility impairments, but may also be useful to persons with other types of disabilities. A copy of The Access Guide in alternate format may be available upon request at the Disability Resoures for Students Office located in Schmitz Hall.
Many older buildings on the Seattle campus do not conform to the most recent accessibility code requirements applicable to new construction. Rather than identify a feature as accessible, TheAccess Guide provides measurements of facilities in each building. Since each person has differing requirements for accessibility, it is up to the individual to assess this information and conclude whether he or she can use a facility.
A number of projects are being undertaken throughout the campus during the academic year to increase the accessibility to and within buildings. These projects include widening entrances and doors, lowering thresholds, installing automatic door openers, building ramps, lowering elevator controls, adjusting elevator sensors, replacing door hardware and modifying restrooms. As a result, you may find that a building is more accessible than it is described as being in the following pages.
The Seattle campus is deceptively steep, rising from Lake Washington on the east to an elevation of 224 feet at the northwest corner, a rise equal to an 18 story building. The campus is also relatively large, about 15 blocks north to south and 25 blocks east to west. The University, therefore, encourages wheelchair users to consider using power-operated wheelchairs on campus.
Since the University is located on a sloping site, many of the pedestrian ways have conditions that do not meet accessibility requirements for slope, duration, surface and rails. Individuals may need to experience a given route to determine if it is accessible for them.
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