Guests with Disabilities

Commencement

Guests with Disabilities

Harvard welcomes family members and guests with disabilities on Commencement Day, Thursday, May 26, 2016. Accessible-seating and other reasonable accommodations are available for individuals with disabilities in Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement Day. Graduating Seniors and Advanced Degree Candidates are strongly encouraged to exchange general Commencement tickets for accessible seating tickets as soon as possible following May ticket distributions . For information related to reasonable accommodations, obtaining accessible seating tickets and/or answers to frequently asked disability-related questions, graduating students and guests should visit the University Disability Services (UDS) website. Visit our website often as updated Commencement information will be posted as soon as it becomes available. You may also contact University Disability Services at disabilityservices@harvard.edu or 617-495-1859.

Accessible seating tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed until all tickets are gone. Harvard will make every effort to accommodate parents and guests without accessible seating tickets on the morning of Commencement, however accessible seating is limited and advanced planning is strongly encouraged.

The accessible seating section is located adjacent to University Hall and will be clearly marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility.

Please review the "Frequently Asked Questions" below for information that will help to make your visit to Harvard and attendance at Commencement most enjoyable.

Additional questions regarding accessibility accommodation needs for Commencement events should be directed to disabilityservices@harvard.edu or 617-495-1859.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am an advanced degree candidate looking to exchange one of my general seating tickets for an accessible seating ticket. Where do I exchange my ticket?

Different advanced degree schools have different ticket exchange procedures. Please contact your school’s Commencement Coordinator for questions on the ticket exchange. Graduates are strongly encouraged to exchange general Commencement tickets for accessible seating tickets as soon as possible following May ticket distributions.

Please note: Accessible seating tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed until all tickets are gone. In order to accommodate as many family members and friends with disabilities as possible in the reserved seating area, individuals with an accessible seating ticket will be permitted to have one companion accompany them into the accessible seating section. The companion must also have an accessible seating ticket. Harvard will make every effort to accommodate parents and guests without accessible seating tickets on Commencement Day, however accessible seating is limited and advanced planning is strongly encouraged.

I am Harvard College student looking to exchange one of my general seating tickets for an accessible seating ticket. Where do I exchange my ticket?

Please note: Accessible seating tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed until all tickets are gone. In order to accommodate as many family members and friends with disabilities as possible in the reserved seating area, individuals with an accessible seating ticket will be permitted to have one companion accompany them into the accessible seating section. The companion must also have an accessible seating ticket. Harvard will make every effort to accommodate parents and guests without accessible seating tickets on Commencement Day, however accessible seating is limited and advanced planning is strongly encouraged.

Requests made Prior to April 22nd– Graduating Seniors should contact the University Disability Services (UDS) office with details of their potential ticket needs as soon as possible. Please share how many tickets you are looking to exchange and what your guest’s needs are. Undergraduates may contact UDS at disabilityservices@harvard.edu. Please include: Your Name, Your Undergraduate House, # of Tickets requested and what your guest's needs are. After receiving confirmation from UDS, your accessible tickets will be available for pick up along with your remaining general seating tickets at the Senior Desk in May.

Requests made April 23rd and Later – If you have not contacted University Disability Services by Friday April 22nd, then you may exchange for accessible seating tickets in person at the Senior Desk. The Senior Desk is managed by the Harvard Alumni Association and will be open weekdays starting Monday May 9th through Wednesday May 25th 11am - 3pm. The Senior Desk is located at 124 Mount Auburn Street, 6th Floor, Cambridge, MA. Harvard will make every effort to accommodate parents and guests without accessible seating tickets on Commencement Day, however accessible seating is limited and advanced planning is strongly encouraged.

For more information on the Senior Desk - please visit: http://alumni.harvard.edu/college/undergraduates/graduation-information

May another member of my family sit in the accessible seating section with my guest? How do I get a ticket for a companion?

From the general seating tickets that you will receive in May, you can exchange one ticket for the guest that requires accessible seating and another ticket for a companion who is permitted to sit in the accessible seating area. The companion must also have an accessible seating ticket.

I will be attending the Commencement ceremonies and will need accessible parking. Where do I park?

Harvard Square can be very busy on Commencement Day and as such, University Disability Services has collaborated with the Parking and Transportation offices to provide accessible parking options. Accessible Parking for Commencement will be located at the Athletic Complex, south of campus. After you park, there will be accessible shuttles available to take you to the Harvard Yard’s Tercentenary Theatre. The shuttle buses will be running continuously on a schedule of every 10-15 minutes offering transportation across campus.

Guests traveling to and from the Longwood Campus and Harvard Yard should contact your school’s Commencement Coordinator for transportation options.

Individuals needing accessible parking spaces are encouraged to plan ahead.

I would like to rent a wheelchair for family member for a variety of graduation events.

There are a number of medical equipment rental companies in the local area. Wheelchairs, walkers and scooters may be rented from local vendors in the area that provide short term loans for a fee. Family and friends needing such wheeled mobility aids are strongly encouraged to reserve necessary equipment well in advance of coming to campus.

1. Belmont Medical Supply 
http://www.belmontmedical.com/
185 Belmont Street, Belmont, MA 02478 
(617) 484-3888

2. Boston Orthopedic & Respiratory Equipment 
http://www.bostonorthoresp.com/
175 Main Street, Charlestown, MA
(617)  337-5133 or (800) 854-6370

3. Skenderian Apothecary
www.skenderianapothecary.com 
1613 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
617-354-5600 

4. Cambridge Medical Supply, Inc.
www.cambridgemedsupply.com 
218 Monsignor Obrien Highway Cambridge, MA    
617-876-3810

I am deaf and I plan to attend the morning Commencement as well as the House ceremonies. How do I request interpreting or CART services?

The Commencement Day ceremonies will be sign language interpreted in the accessible seating area. You will need a ticket for the accessible seating area (See ticket exchange information above). Open captioning is provided on the large LED screens conveniently located in Tercentenary Theatre.

For any questions, please contact disabilityservices@harvard.edu

My mother, who is blind, will be attending Commencement. Is it possible to provide her with a Braille copy of the Commencement Program?

Contact the University Disability Services Office at least 3 weeks in advance of your arrival on campus in order to provide the necessary time to convert text to Braille. Disability Services may be reached at disabilityservices@harvard.edu or 617-495-1859.

I am coming to my daughter's graduation and am not sure how I will be able to find my way around campus.

There will be ample directional signage related to accessibility seating and restrooms in and around Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement Day. Additional accessible information is available at http://accessibility.harvard.edu/getting-around-visitors. Please visit the University Disability Services website for forthcoming Commencement accessibility maps. 

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