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Disability Resource Center: Helping to ensure equal access to the University's educational, social, and cultural opportunities

Services for Students with Mobility Impairment

The term "mobility impairment" refers to a broad range of disabilities that may cause students to rely on assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, crutches, canes or artificial limbs. Disabilities affecting mobility can result from spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, arthritis, cerebral palsy, and other disabling conditions. Stairs, heavy doors, lack of elevators and narrow walkways may present barriers. Students with mobility impairments may also experience impaired hand-eye coordination, aphasia, limited writing ability due to weakness or paralysis, and decreased physical stamina.
Students with mobility disabilities may request accommodations by following the procedures under Guidelines for Students with Disabilities. After review of current medical documentation, eligibility for accommodations is determined by the Disability Resource Center on a case-by-case basis. The Disability Resource Center may make the following recommendations:

  • Priority registration
  • Allowance to use tape recorder in classroom
  • Supplemental note-taker service
  • Testing accommodations
  • Reasonable flexibility with attendance policy if medical absence occurs
  • Relocation of class to accessible location if current classroom is not accessible
  • Consideration for special furnishing request in classroom
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible residence hall
  • Use of assistive technology

Students with mobility disabilities are encouraged to review the following information:

  • Accessibility of Campus
    The University of Louisville continually strives to enhance the physical accessibility of our campus. Most classroom buildings are equipped with automatic door openers, elevators and accessible restrooms. Students are encouraged to travel the campus prior to the beginning of each term to identify possible access barriers in advance. Contact the DRC with any concerns.
  • Adaptive Equipment/Assistive Technology
    Many persons with physical disabilities require use of assistive technology or adaptive equipment to access University programs and services. Prospective and current students are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center to discuss specific adaptive equipment needs. Here you will find a list of Adaptive Technology currently available in the Disability Resource Center. Additional adaptive technology is also available at other locations on campus.
  • Attendance
    Students with disabilities may experience legitimate medical absences from class. Persons most likely to request modified attendance policies include students with diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, migraines and conditions requiring dialysis. The amount of flexibility for medical absences will depend on whether absences jeopardize the academic standards of the class. The amount of flexibility will be determined on a case-by -case basis with the faculty; there are no blanket accommodations waiving attendance policies. Additional information on Class Attendance is available here.
  • Class Scheduling/Priority Registration
    The DRC can provide some assistance with class scheduling. Our staff cannot function as academic advisors but we can supplement the advising process by pointing out potential accessibility problems with class schedules. For assistance, contact the DRC well before classes begin each semester.
  • Classroom Accessibility
    The majority of the University's classrooms are wheelchair accessible. If one of your classes is scheduled in a classroom that is not accessible, contact the Disability Resource Center immediately for possible relocation of the class to an accessible location.
  • Elevator Maintenance
    Elevators are down for routine maintenance on occasion. Every effort is made to give advance notice to elevator users of needed downtime for repairs/maintenance. If you are informed that an elevator will be out of operation for a period of time, and if this results in missing a class, contact your faculty in advance about possible temporary relocation of the class. Contact the DRC as needed.
  • Emergency Procedures: Individuals with Mobility Impairment Needing Assistance During an Emergency
    For information on procedures to follow in the event of an emergency, please go link: Evacuation of the Mobility Impaired.
  • Lab Assistants
    If you will require the assistance of an aide to participate in a laboratory class, contact the Disability Resource Center prior to beginning of class. Please allow ample time to address and resolve any access issues. Options for accessing lab activities include: faculty support in identifying a lab partner, identification of a volunteer lab assistant, or hiring of a paid lab assistant. A paid or volunteer assistant will function solely to provide access to class activities and will assume no personal care duties (such as transportation or personal hygiene).
  • Library Assistance
    Staff at Ekstrom Library are available to assist library patrons with disabilities to access library resources and services. Call 852-6747 or visit the Special Services web site.
  • Parking Accessibility
    Handicapped parking permits are available to qualified individuals. Note: parking in University lots requires a valid University parking permit. Parking in handicapped spaces requires a University-issued handicapped parking permit. Contact the Parking Division, Department of Public Safety for assistance with purchase of permits.
  • Personal Care Attendants
    The University does not provide personal care attendants. It is critical that students who require a personal care attendant secure all required assistance prior to the beginning of each term. For possible assistance, contact your local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and/or local independent living center. In Louisville, the Center for Accessible Living (502-589-6620) may provide information about personal care assistance.
  • Recreation
    The Student Recreation Center has several pieces of equipment which are accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs. When visiting the SRC, look for the TechnoGym Excite Ergometer, Cybex Lat Pull, Cybex Row, Cybex Overhead Press, FreeMotion Live Axis Low Pull, FreeMotion Live Axis Chest Pull, FreeMotion Live Axis High Pull, and Cybex Bravo. Ask an employee if you need any assistance finding or using this equipment.
  • Residence Halls
    Students with disabilities who require accommodations in the residence halls are encouraged to make early application and include specific accommodation needs. For information, visit the Housing web site.
  • Tardiness
    All students are expected to attend class and arrive on time for class or other appointments. Please make appropriate transportation arrangements to reduce the likelihood of tardiness. Extenuating circumstances (extreme problems with para-transit service, inclement weather, etc.) should be discussed on a case-by-case basis with faculty. Please remember to request intervention from the DRC as needed.
  • Transportation on Campus
    The Department of Public Safety, Division of Parking, operates the campus shuttle service in conjunction with TARC (Transit Authority River City). Shuttles operate on fixed routes and are unable to provide customized transportation.
  • Transportation in the Community
    Transit Authority of River city (TARC) services the Louisville area. Visit TARC's web site to learn about accessibility features and the para-transit service.
  • Traveling the Campus
    Students with disabilities are expected to travel the campus independently or to make arrangements for the assistance required to travel the campus. The University can assume no responsibility for transporting students to class.
  • Wheelchair/Scooter Repair
    The Disability Resource Center does not provide wheelchair/scooter repair service. For this reason, regular preventive maintenance is critical to reduce the need for repairs. Careful attention must be given to periodic cleaning, oiling of moving parts, maintaining correct tire pressure, tightening of loose nuts and bolts, cleaning of battery terminals, and checking the water level in the battery. In addition, a small tool kit with a tire patch kit, air pump, wrench set, and screwdrivers may be useful. It is important to become familiar with community businesses that repair wheelchairs.

For additional information, contact:

Cathy Patus, Director
Disability Resource Center
119 Stevenson Hall
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
(502) 852-6938
cathy.patus@louisville.edu

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