The University of Utah Commission is currently being conducted. As such, data is limited, but a few of the recommendations are found here. Please be patient for future updates.
Documentation requirements for accessing services/accommodations from Center for Disability and Access
· Require history and prognosis of condition, treatments both successful and failed, medications, current impact (symptoms). They cannot ask for any of those, only a statement by a medical professional that a person has a ADL-impacting condition and that the professional recommends them for accommodations. (May ask for specific accommodations.)
· The elevator in the A Ray Olpin University Union was out of order for several months last semester, leaving the third floor inaccessible to wheelchair users. That wait time is unacceptable and in my experience is standard for the university.
· The elevator in the old Law Library/SJ Quinney law building (where OEO is located, ironically enough) is accessible only with a key. No one seems to know who owns that key or how to get ahold of them.
· The elevator in the Gardner Commons takes 5-10 minutes to arrive. It is overwhelmed by students. (That’s not so much an ADA violation as it is an annoyance but I’m often late to class bc of it)
· Several buildings, including several buildings on President’s Circle and the Stewart Building, do not have elevators to the upper floors. The buildings have been refurbished/had additions constructed since the passage of the ADA and thus do not fall under the “historic building” clause.
· I’ve been ticketed more than once for parking in “A” lots (which I am allowed to park in with my disability pass). Parking is a nightmare at the U. Parking lots are not close to class buildings, difficult to access, and there is nowhere to park my trailer (which carries my wheelchair). They tried to charge me for two parking space passes (upwards of $400 a piece) because my trailer does not fit in one space, because there is no van accessible parking. Students park in accessible spots without a disability placard often, and are not ticketed or fined, even when the violation is reported.
· Snow removal is a nightmare. The plows don’t plow access ramps/curb cuts on the sidewalks, only the sidewalks themselves. Less used pathways are not plowed in a timely manner (or sometimes at all). The plows fill the accessible parking spaces, or the striped access spaces next to them, with snow.
· The curb cuts around the Union building are not ADA-compliant, the lip is too large. I’ve noticed that in multiple places around campus.
Professors honoring accommodation statements
· Whether or not your accommodation statements will be honored heavily depends on the professor. Many professors view the statements as “suggestions” that they can pick and choose. I’ve reported professors to OEO for discriminatory language when telling me that they would not honor my accommodations (one professor called accommodations “lowering the standards of [his] class”). I think mandatory training for professors on ADA rights and responsibilities in higher ed (especially the fact that accommodations MUST be honored) would be something I’d like to see.