Accessibility and Accommodations

Accessible seating is available for guests with disabilities and up to two (2) companions. This seating area is designated for individuals using wheelchairs, persons with limited mobility, and/or guests with visual or hearing impairments.

To make arrangements, the University asks that you submit your request(s) by completing the Accommodations Request Form. Please note that your party’s reservation will be under the name of the person who fills out this form. A form must be filled out for EACH individual needing accommodations.

Accessible seating opens at 7:00 a.m. and is first-come first-served.

Accessible Parking

If you have a state-issued disability parking placard or plate, you are welcome to park on pre-marked handicapped spots on campus, but we cannot guarantee their availability. University of Chicago Maps provides information on accessible spaces in University parking lots. For additional information on accessible parking, please visit Accessible Parking webpage.   

Accommodations Entrance and Seating

While the Main Quadrangles are open year-round with multiple entry points, for the University’s 536th Convocation, a fence is erected restricting access to all but three security-enforced entrances. The accommodations entrance, located just north of the intersection of 59th Street and University Avenue, is designated only for guests with accommodation needs who have submitted an Accommodations Request Form, and is first-come first-served.

Security Checkpoint

At the Accommodations Entrance to the Main Quadrangles, all guests must stop at a security checkpoint area. Please allow yourself adequate time to get through security and check in.

All bags are subject to inspection. Items that may interfere with guests seeing or hearing the ceremony are not permitted.

Guests will be asked to turn over any items that are deemed not permissible within the Main Quadrangles. Following the University Convocation Ceremony, guests may pick-up those items at the same entrance.

Please refrain from bringing pets; service animals are permitted.

Umbrellas and strollers are permitted.

Seating

Following the security checkpoint, please proceed to the Accommodations tent where you will check in with staff and receive wristband(s) that will allow you entrance to the Accessibility and Accommodations seating area on the Main Quadrangle. Your party’s reservation will be under the name of the person who filled out the Accommodations Request Formso it is important that all guests in your party are present in order to check in. Once checked in, you will also receive a clear plastic bag that contains a Convocation program. Due to limited space for seating, we encourage you to fill out an Accommodations Request Form so we are aware of your need(s). We will do our best to accommodate all guests who have filled out the form. As noted, guests with disabilities will receive a wristband for themselves and up to two (2) companions.

Drop Off Passes

On Convocation day, the majority of streets near the Quad are closed due to Convocation activities and safety for all participants and guests. Drop-off passes allow a driver to drop off a guest with mobility issues near the Main Quadrangles on Convocation day.  Drivers then either leave campus or park their vehicle elsewhere on campus if staying for Convocation activities. This pass does not provide any reserved parking for the holder. These passes are recommended for individuals who will be transporting guests with mobility concerns but who are mobile themselves.

To utilize this service, please fill out the Accommodations Request Form and you will receive a drop off pass via email approximately one week prior to Convocation. When you receive this drop off pass, please place it on the dashboard of the vehicle wishing to drop guest(s) off so that police officers can direct the car into the drop off queue. 

Accessible Restrooms

​Throughout the weekend, accessible portable restrooms will be available wherever portable restrooms are situated. In addition, accessible restrooms are located in buildings around the Main Quadrangles. Please note, Pick Hall is the closest location to the Accommodations Seating area for indoor accessible bathrooms.

Wheelchair Rentals

The University of Chicago does not supply wheelchairs or scooters. To arrange for a wheelchair or scooter rental, please see below for a preferred rental company in the Chicagoland area.

Howard Medical Company

(Wheelchair Rental)
Attn: Mark Litton
Phone: 773.278.1440
Email: mark@howardmedical.com

Alternative Viewing Options

Guests who prefer an indoor viewing location may view a live broadcast of the ceremony either in Kent Auditorium or Bond Chapel. These spaces are located within the Main Quadrangles. Seating is limited so early attendance is recommended.

Student Requests

Candidates needing accommodations and participating in the Main Convocation Ceremony at 9:00 a.m. should fill out the Accommodations Request Form. Please note, candidates of graduate schools and divisions seated in the accommodations seating area for the main ceremony may not be able to be seated with their unit. For individual division and school ceremonies, candidates with special accommodation requests should contact their Dean of Students Office for guidance and inquiries. Candidates who request special accommodations for individual division and school ceremonies will receive information from corresponding division and school staff approximately (1-2) weeks prior to Convocation.