Guests with Disabilities

Guests with Disabilities


Harvard University is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus. We are planning for several reopening stages to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the continuity of our teaching and research mission. We will continue to update the community regularly to keep you informed of additional measures. To stay up to date on Harvard's response to the outbreak, visit the University's COVID-19 website, which will be updated with information as it becomes available.


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Accessible parking will be available on both Class Day and Commencement Day at the Harvard Stadium Athletics complex on North Harvard St. in Allston or at the Soldiers Field Park Garage on the Harvard Business School Campus, located at 111 Western Avenue in Allston.  Please note that all parking is on first-come, first-served basis, and is in satellite parking areas. This parking will be available beginning at 6:30AM on Commencement Day.  Guests with further questions on accessibility parking needs or accommodation please send an email to to discuss.


Shuttle Service will pick up in the above mentioned parking locations on Class Day and Commencement Day. The routes then travel across campus every 10-15 minutes. The shuttles are accessible to guests using wheelchairs and other mobility devices. You can track shuttle service and get real time information on Guests with other shuttle questions can call 617-495-0400.

Van Service may also be available by request for transportation to areas not served by the shuttle. Please send an email to with information on your request if you are interested in exploring Van Service for your visit.

Current Shuttle Map: Commencement Shuttle Service Map 


Commencement Accessibility Map  This map includes general accessibility information, including the locations of the LED screens with captioning, accessible entry gates, ticketed accessible seating section, accessible toilet rooms, first aid stations, and the University Disability Services Information table.



University Disability Resources (UDR) will have staff at the gates to Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement Day. These staff will be providing wheelchair assistance (rides) from the gate to the guest’s seat in Tercentenary Theater, either to general seating or accessible seating. No reservation is needed for the wheelchair runner service.


ASL is provided for the Morning Exercises and Afternoon Alumni Program at the ticketed accessible seating section in Tercentenary Theatre. Guests needing ASL should exchange general seating tickets for accessible seating tickets. Please see the Accessible Seating Ticket information below on how to exchange.


Open captions are provided on the video screens in Tercentenary Theatre. Please see the Commencement Accessibility Map for the locations of the screens.


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.


Graduating Seniors should contact University Disability Resources (UDR) with details of their potential ticket needs as soon as possible. If you are a Harvard College senior with friends or family who will need a ticket in the accessible seating section for the Morning Exercises, please visit here. After receiving confirmation from UDR, your accessible tickets will be available for pick up along with your remaining general seating tickets at the Senior Desk in May.

If you have not contacted University Disability Resources in advance of the date above, then you may exchange for accessible seating tickets in person at the Senior Desk. The Senior Desk is managed by the Harvard Alumni Association. 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:



Graduate and Professional schools manage their ticket exchange locally. Please find below a listing of school Commencement websites. If you are not sure of your school's Commencement Coordinator, please feel free to reach out to and we would be happy to provide the direction.


Please contact University Disability Resources at 3 weeks (if possible) in advance of your arrival on campus in order to provide the necessary time to convert text to Braille.


HARVARD COLLEGE: University Disability Resources has a limited quantity of wheelchairs which will be made available for courtesy loan to Harvard College undergraduates on a first come first served basis.  There is no cost for this loan. To request: please send an email to Pickup and drop off details will be provided upon confirmation. It should be noted, that our office does not have the staffing to provide pushers to accompany the wheelchairs. If you are looking for a longer term wheelchair loan (several days to a week), there are many local vendors also rent wheelchairs for a cost and they are listed below.

GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS: Contact your school's Commencement Coordinator to see whether they may have courtesy wheelchair loans available. If not, please see the rental resource information below.

LOCAL RENTALS: There are a number of medical equipment rental companies in the local area. Wheelchairs, walkers and scooters may be rented from local vendors that provide short term loans for a cost. 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
185 Belmont Street, Belmont, MA 02478

2. Boston Orthopedic & Respiratory Equipment
175 Main Street, Charlestown, MA
617-337-5133 or (800) 854-6370


Most Boston-Metro hotels offer accessible lodging. Family and friends needing accessible lodging are strongly encouraged to reserve accessible hotel rooms as far in advance as possible.


To find useful information regarding accessible pathways and building entrances in a variety of areas, please visit the Harvard University Campus Map. This is an interactive map and offers various features such as:

  • Search Bar – (top of the page) – may be used to search building names or partial names.
  • Layers – (right side) – various layers can be selected to show a variety of information about Harvard.
  • Zoom – the map can be zoomed and dragged to view different areas of campus.

Questions? Email Harvard University Disability Services at