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Accessibility for Guests

Get information about accessible parking, wheelchair access, therapy animals and other common accessibility-related concerns.

Graduating Students with Accessibility Needs

The information on this page is for GUESTS. If you are a graduating student with a special need that impacts your participation in your ceremony, please see your ceremony listing for information about accessibility.

Alumni Arena

Accessible Parking Lots & Spaces — Those with official accessible parking hangtags may utilize accessible lots and spaces. The University at Buffalo does not issue these hangtags.

For Guests Who Are Unable to Walk From the Parking lot — Please pull up on Coventry Loop to drop them off in front of the Alumni Arena. Parking is not permitted in Coventry Loop.

Building Point of Entry — While entry into the building is possible at either the doors off of Coventry Loop or Webster Rd., the Coventry entrance is a preferable entry point for guests with disabilities.

Elevators — Elevators are located at both the Webster and Coventry ends of the building.

Wheelchairs — A limited number of wheelchairs will be available at the Guest Services desk inside the Coventry doors of Alumni Arena, to transport guests from Coventry Loop to the designated seating areas at top of 100-level and between the 200 and 300 seating levels. These wheelchairs cannot be used by guests to sit in during the ceremony. We strongly encourage guests who need wheelchairs to supply their own. This is especially crucial in case of an emergency evacuation.

Tickets — There is no specific ticket for accessible seating. Each guest will need a standard guest ticket (if you are attending a ticketed ceremony) in order to enter the ceremony venue at the Alumni Arena.

Special Seating Areas — It is important to have guests with special needs check in at our Guest Services desk inside the Coventry doors of Alumni Arena so that our usher staff can assist with getting them properly seated. Three areas of the Arena have been established for accessible seating. Please note that guests with special needs may only bring ONE companion to sit with them (IF ceremony is ticketed, then the individual in need and their companion must each have a ceremony ticket); this limit is to ensure that we maintain ample seating for others in need. The three special seating areas are designated for:

  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing — Open captioning will be available, with special access seating.
  • Those who are walking / stair-climbing challenged and may be in danger of experiencing ambulatory distress — Designated seating is reserved at the top of the 100-level and between the 200 and 300 levels (with the exception of School of Nursing ceremony for which there will be some seating on the floor-level as well as a portion of the last row in the 100-level) for guests unable to safely utilize stairs.
  • Wheelchair Bound — Special floor seating is reserved for those in wheelchairs.

Center for the Arts

Accessible Parking Lots & Spaces — Those with official accessible parking hangtags may utilize accessible lots and spaces. The University at Buffalo does not issue these hangtags.

For Guests Who Are Unable to Walk From the Parking lot — Please pull up on Coventry Loop to drop them off in front of the Center for the Arts. Parking is not permitted in Coventry Loop.

Elevators — The Center for the Arts is equipped with elevators inside the Mainstage Theater allowing for access to seats in the lower orchestra and wheelchair row by persons with special needs. Please be aware that the balcony of the Mainstage Theater is not serviced by an elevator, patrons seated in the balcony must be able to take the stairs to get to their seats.

Wheelchairs — A limited number of wheelchairs will be available for sign-out at the Guest Services Desk inside the Center for the Arts lobby (Coventry entrance), to transport guests from Coventry loop to seating. These wheelchairs cannot be used by guests to sit in during the ceremony. The demand for wheelchairs tends to be quite high and we cannot guarantee that a wheelchair will be available to you when you arrive. We strongly encourage guests who need wheelchairs to supply their own and arrive early. Bringing your own wheelchair with you, if you require one, is especially crucial in case of an emergency evacuation.

Tickets — There is no specific ticket or reservation required for accessible seating. Each guest will need a standard ticket (if attending a ticketed ceremony) to enter the ceremony venue.

Accessible Seating for Guests with Special Needs — Please check in at the Guest Services Desk in the Center for the Arts Lobby. Patrons are then directed to the Mainstage Theater; please look for accessibility entrance, indicated by a sign in front of the theater. Please check in with the usher in this location who will make arrangements to seat you in the appropriate area. Please note that guests requiring accessible seating may only bring one companion to sit with them (IF ceremony is ticketed, then the individual in need and their guest will each need a ceremony ticket); this limit is to ensure that we maintain ample seating for others in need.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guests —
Assistive Listening Devices — The Center for the Arts is equipped with infrared assistive listening devices that augment the sound in the theater for those that have difficulty hearing. Assistive Listening Devices are available for check out at the Guest Services Desk in the Center for the Arts lobby.
Sign Language Interpreter — If you require a sign language interpreter please notify the school whose ceremony you will be attending so arrangements can be made for an interpreter to be present. In the event that an interpreter is required special seating arrangements will be made ensuring good visual access of the interpreter.

Slee Hall

Accessible Parking Lots & Spaces — Those with official accessible parking hangtags may utilize accessible lots and spaces. The University at Buffalo does not issue these hangtags.

For guests who are unable to walk from the parking lot — Please pull up on Coventry Loop to drop them off in front of Slee Concert Hall. Parking is not permitted in Coventry Loop.

Elevator — An elevator is located in the building. Please ask an usher to direct you.

Wheelchairs — Wheelchairs are not available at Slee Hall. We strongly encourage those who need a wheelchair to please bring one with them.

Tickets — There is no specific ticket for accessible seating. Each guest will need a standard guest ticket (if you are attending a ticketed ceremony) in order to enter the ceremony venue at Slee Hall. Once you are inside the concert hall, please express your special seating needs to an usher. 

Special Seating Areas 
The two seating areas for guests with wheelchairs are as follows. Please note that the individual in a wheelchair may bring ONE companion to sit with them (IF ceremony is ticketed, then the individual in need and their companion must each have a ceremony ticket); this is to ensure that we maintain ample seating for others in need. Please ask an usher or volunteer escort to direct you. 

  • Along the center cross aisle divide
  • Between pillars on the side walkways of the hall

Animals

Animals are not permitted at the commencement ceremony except in the case of service animals trained to perform needed tasks for attendees with disabilities.