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Accessibility FAQs

  • Please summarize the two options to choose from.
    Option 1 - Yellow Plan
    Parking: Hoy Parking Garage attached to stadium (yellow permits only)
    Seating: Folding chairs with back support, field level, no stairs
    Before Commencement: unload at garage level 3, walk/wheel to seating
    After Commencement: walk/wheel or possibly drive near next event
    Option 2 - Blue Plan
    Parking: TRB Parking Lot (blue permits only)
    Seating: reserved rows of Crescent bleachers; some stairs
    Before Commencement: park in TRB Lot, ride bus to stadium Crescent
    After Commencement: walk or bus to next event or parking lot

  • Will I have to sit alone?
    No. We do not require the guest to sit alone.
    Option 1 - Yellow Plan
    Tickets: There are no seating tickets for this seating area.
    Family: So that we may accommodate all families who need this seating, we ask that families follow a "guest + 1" rule.
    Family: Additional family may sit in general seating areas.
    Option 2 - Blue Plan
    Tickets: 6 blue tickets for reserved rows in the Crescent.
    Family: So that we may accommodate guests who need this seating, we ask families adhere to the number of section tickets given. Seating is carefully planned to match the exact number of tickets allocated. For each person who would sit in the blue area without a ticket, a person with a blue ticket would not be able to sit in that section. Thankfully, our Cornell families are considerate and allow us to accommodate our ticketed guests in need of reserved seating. Families with more than 6 people may have the additional members sit in available general seating rows immediately in front of or behind the reserved rows. Also, we do not require guests to sit in the reserved rows. If you prefer to all sit together in general seating areas, it's fine to not use your reserved seating tickets.

  • We have 4 mobility-impaired people in our vehicle. Do we need to submit 4 requests?
    No, just 1. By submitting a request, we will send you one parking permit for your vehicle. It doesn't matter how many people are in the vehicle or how many of them are mobility impaired. The parking permit is for a vehicle, not for a person.

  • We have 7 people in our car and 4 of them need Option 1 seating. Where will we sit?
    The 4 who need to sit in the Option 1 (yellow) seating area should do so. The other 3 will sit in general seating areas in the stadium.

  • May I use my accessible parking & seating arrangements on Saturday for Senior Convocation as well as at Sunday's University Commencement?
    Yes. Your parking permit is valid both Saturday and Sunday for stadium events.

  • Does this provide seating at college events too?
    No. These arrangements are for stadium events, University Commencement and Senior Convocation. If you want inquire about seating at college/department events, please contact the appropriate event planner.

  • Do I need to be in a wheelchair to request accessibility arrangements?
    No. We recognize that guests have varying needs. Some have limited mobility, some need a chair with back support, some need to avoid stairs, some need less walking. We offer two accessible parking & seating plans to choose from. Guests should choose the one that best suits their needs.

  • Why do you suggest bringing a wheelchair for guests who don't usually need one?
    Each year we see visitors, often elderly, who are caught off guard by how tiring the weekend turns out to be. There is a lot of walking involved, and the hilly campus is challenging, especially in warm temperatures. Although we can provide helpful arrangements for Commencement at the stadium, many other events are happening all across campus Saturday and Sunday. Getting to and from those events is the tiring part. Even dropping off guests nearest a venue might still require a tiring walk across the Ag Quad, Arts Quad or Engineering Quad to get to a particular tent or building. Also, some events are outdoors and informal and don't have enough chairs set up for all guests, so a wheelchair provides comfortable seating for those who may be tired and need to sit down. We understand that some guests don't normally use or need a wheelchair, but we cannot suggest strongly enough how helpful one can be throughout Commencement Weekend. Using a wheelchair or transport chair (smaller wheels/design than a wheelchair) as a shuttle around campus can be a more safe and less stressful option for your family member. Our rule of thumb is this: if you say your family member "cannot walk long distances" then we would suggest bringing a wheelchair to use as a shuttle when needed. If you rent a folding wheelchair or transport chair to have in your vehicle, you can use it when needed and leave it in the car when you don't. If you plan to do that, please request Option 1 (yellow plan) arrangements so you may park in the parking garage attached to the stadium. Leave the rented wheelchair in your car if your family member doesn't need to use it while at the stadium. When Commencement ends at noon, retrieve the wheelchair from your vehicle, leave your car parked in the parking garage, and use the wheelchair/transport chair to shuttle your family member to the next event on campus then back to the parking garage later. Note: Although your family member is welcome to sit in the Option 1 (yellow) seating area at the stadium, it is not required. If your family member is safe and comfortable sitting in general seating areas (bleachers), that is fine with us.

  • Should we request Option 2 (blue plan) if we have a wheelchair or walker?
    No. Option 2 (blue plan) does NOT accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. The Option 1 (yellow plan) DOES accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, so please request this option. Although the Option 2 accessibility plan has fewer stairs than general seating (no accessibility plan), please be aware that Option 2 seating is ALL bleacher seating (no chairs), includes 1-10 stairs, and stepping on/off buses. For the safety and comfort of our guests, those who are unable to navigate stairs, buses, and bleacher seating need to request Option 1 (yellow plan), whether they have a wheelchair or not.
  • Is there special transportation provided for mobility impaired guests?
    We have planned out ways for mobility impaired guests to get around campus. These plans, summarized below, are detailed in a letter that is mailed with the permit.
    Option 1
    These guests park in a designated garage. From the unloading area, it is a short, level walk to their seating area at the stadium. After, they may walk, wheel, or drive to college/department events. (On Sunday, walking/wheeling may be faster than driving, as vehicles get caught in traffic congestion. Having a wheelchair for MI family members may help to get you to the graduate's college/department event faster so that you don't miss anything.)
    Option 2
    These guests park in a designated parking lot. A bus will take them to the stadium. After, they may walk or board a bus to go to college/department events on campus or back to their parking lot.

  • May I use my mobility impaired parking & seating arrangements on Saturday for Senior Convocation as well as at Sunday's University Commencement?
    Yes. Your mobility impaired parking permit is valid both Saturday and Sunday.

  • Do I need to own a handicap permit/tag in order to request mobility impaired parking & seating arrangements for Commencement?

  • Do I need to have a doctor's note in order to request mobility impaired parking & seating arrangements for Commencement?

  • Can't I just drive up to the stadium to drop off my mobility impaired family member then go park?
    No. Central campus roads (especially roads surrounding Schoellkopf Stadium) are closed from 8:00am-4:00pm on Sunday. If you have a family member with mobility issues, please submit an online request the mobility impaired parking permit that best suits your family member's needs. This will give them an effective way to get to the stadium with less walking.

  • May I use the mobility impaired parking permit to park in handicap spaces on campus?
    No. The mobility impaired parking permit is only a permit to park in a designated lot. It is not the same as a legally recognized handicap permit, so only park in posted handicap spaces if you have a handicap tag/permit.

  • Do I need to request a mobility impaired parking permit if I already have a state-issued handicap tag?
    Yes and no. You are not required to request a mobility impaired permit if you don't feel you need one (i.e., park the same as other guests). However, please understand that your handicap tag will not allow you access to closed campus roads. If you need special parking & seating, you should submit an online request for a mobility impaired permit. Traffic personnel on campus will allow vehicles with mobility impaired permits to access the appropriate roads/lots per that permit.

  • I have requested a mobility impaired parking permit. Do I also need to submit a separate request for mobility impaired seating?
    No. Requesting Option 1 or Option 2 arrangements will determine your seating area as well as your parking area.

  • I can walk and climb stairs, but I need to sit with back support. May I request mobility impaired arrangements?
    Yes. Request Option 1 so that you may sit in a folding chair instead of bleachers. Or, if you'd prefer, you may bring a portable stadium seat (search online for "stadium seat for bleachers") instead of requesting special seating.

  • Why is Option 1 suggested for guests with vertigo?
    Buses will transport guests (including Option 2 mobility impaired guests) to the Crescent side of Schoellkopf Stadium. Guests then enter the stadium by walking under the Crescent, up a short ramp and through a portal (doorway) that opens into the stadium. Because of the hills and design of the stadium, the portals are about 2/3 of the way up the Crescent bleachers. Guests might be caught off guard when they expect to come in at floor level but find they are actually up quite high. Although the Option 2 seating section is right by the portals, please be aware that this MI seating section is not down at field level.

  • Do I need to have a doctor's note in order to request mobility impaired parking & seating arrangements for Commencement?

Contact Information

Commencement Office
B13 Day Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-9541
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