Accessibility Resources

Returning to campus and ADA accommodations

FOR EMPLOYEES: The university recognizes that some employees who previously did not seek ADA Accommodations, but who may have a qualifying condition or disability, may need support or assistance during the return to campus process in order to perform work-related duties. A modified approach to continue to address accommodation needs in a timely and human-centered manner has been developed and implemented to ensure employees full access to programs and activities. Because every case is different, employee requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please share your need for an accommodation with your manager or you may contact the Accessibility office via email at

FOR STUDENTS: The university recognizes that some students who previously did not need Section 504 Academic Accommodations, and who have a qualifying condition or disability, may need support or assistance during the return to campus process. A modified approach for the temporary and more permanent need for accommodation has been developed and implemented to provide students with full access to programs and activities related to their academic majors. Because every case is different, student requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please share your need for an accommodation with the Student Accessibility and Education Office after you have worked directly with your faculty member.

If you have questions about student immunizations, please visit the University Student Health Services website.

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental values at Virginia Commonwealth University, and we are committed to providing access to individuals with disabilities to our programs, activities and services, including courses and websites. (More information on ADA compliance and accessibility services can be found on the website of Equity and Access Services.)

Whether you’re a student who needs extra time on an exam, a visitor looking for accessible parking or an employee who desires accommodations to perform essential functions of your job, we offer resources to ensure you can take advantage of all that Virginia Commonwealth University has to offer. 

Should you have any questions or should you need assistance with information on this site, please contact the university Accessibility office via email at

The installation of the final phase of the fencing along the front of Franklin Street Gym began in 2020. The sidewalk and the parking lane in front of the Gym may be inside of the construction fence so pedestrians should cross Franklin at Shafer and Laurel Streets. 

The construction of the STEM Building has begun on the site of the Franklin Street Gym at 817 W. Franklin Street. The area is being fenced off which requires pedestrian detours to Shafer Dining Center and Johnson Hall because the alley behind the Gym is closed. (Please refer to Pedestrian Detours and the STEM Building for more information on fencing and detours.)

To reach Johnson Hall from the Compass, go north on Shafer towards Franklin Street. Cross Franklin and turn right in front of Blanton House, 826-828 W. Franklin Street, and walk one block east towards Laurel Street. At Laurel Street turn right to go back across Franklin and Johnson Hall, 801 W. Franklin Street, is in front of you. An alternative path from Shafer Dining to Johnson is to go one block east on Cathedral Way towards Monroe Park. Turn left on Laurel Street, go one block north, crossing the alley behind Franklin Street Gym and Johnson Hall, 801 W. Franklin Street, will be on your left. Be mindful that the Franklin Street path is the recommended path of travel.

To reach Shafer Dining from the intersection of Laurel and Franklin Streets, go one block west on the north side of the 800 block of W Franklin Street in front of Williams House. When you reach Blanton House, 826-828 W Franklin Street, at Shafer Street, turn left to cross Franklin. Go south on Shafer towards Cabell Library. Shafer Dining will be on your left when you reach the Compass in front of Cabell. The alternative route is to go one block south on Laurel in front of Johnson Hall, crossing the alley behind Franklin Street Gym and turn right on Cathedral Way. If you cross Cathedral Way, the sidewalk supports safe travel. Go one block west on Cathedral and Shafer Dining will be on the right when you reach the Compass.

VCU provides accommodations to ensure students with disabilities have equal educational opportunities and experiences.

Equity and Access Services (EAS) ADA unit provides resources and support for employees with disabilities consistent with state and federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also collaborates with the Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity office (SAEO), the Division for Academic Success (DAS) and departments across the university to ensure access to university programs, services and activities.

To begin the disclosure and accommodation process or to pass along an accessibility concern you’ve noted on campus, access the site below and following instructions.  If you need assistance in this process, contact the Accessibility office via email at

Job applicants: If you need accommodation in the application process, please contact

Visitors:  If you are attending an event, please contact the sponsor of the event to request accommodations. If you are visiting an office, please contact that office to request accommodations.

VCU Libraries offers a number of services and resources for visitors with disabilities, such as individualized library orientations and assitive technology, at both of its locations. 

All VCU shuttles are accessible. VCU Parking and Transportation provides maps of accessible parking. VCU does not provide assigned "handicapped parking." If you need an alternative to your parking assignment due to disability, please contact Parking and Transportation for assistance. *Accessible parking spaces are also located on street, but may fall outside the control of the university.

What events must be accessible?

  • Every type of program, meeting, exhibit, tour and event, whether held for the VCU community or open to the public, must consider the access needs of persons with disabilities. This includes all VCU sponsored activities held off campus.

Who is responsible for disability access to an event?

  • Event planners are responsible for planning and providing for the accessibility needs of participants with disabilities at any event they plan. Advance planning for accessibility will maximize the opportunity for all to participate and minimize the need for last minute and perhaps costly changes. 

Who is responsible for any expenses associated with providing disability access?

  • The costs associated with disability access are considered part of the overall expense of the event. Event planners should include the expense of any anticipated accommodations as a budget item in the event planning. Most accommodations can be made at little or no cost, such as choosing a wheelchair accessible venue for the event. Accommodations such as sign language interpreting will have a cost. Event planners who think the cost of the accommodations cannot be supported by the event should discuss alternative funding sources with their supervisor or advisor. Before denying any accommodation requests, event planners should consult with the ADA/504 Coordinator.

Know Your Space

  • Where is the accessible entrance to the building?
  • Where is the nearest accessible restroom?
  • Where is the nearest universal restroom?
  • Is there an elevator?
  • Is the event space entirely accessible, e.g. does the stage need a ramp?
  • Does your seating plan allow wide enough travel paths for a wheelchair?
  • Are tables for meals and meetings at 34" or lower to allow wheelchair access?

Ask for Accommodation Requests

  • Invite participants with disabilities to ask for accommodations in advance. Include this statement in all pre-event publicity and registration materials. The disability accommodation statement should provide an event contact email and phone number.
  • Sample statement: “If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact [event sponsor] at [phone number and/or email] at least one week in advance.”

Accessible Media

  • All publicity materials, including website and online registration forms, must be accessible (e.g. utilize electronic text and not just PDFs). Provide the option for registration by phone.

Accessible Presentation Guidelines

  • Color contrast.
  • Font size of at least 24pt.
  • Have a paper copy of PPT available.
  • Provide option to receive PPT after presentation via link or email.
  • Describe important images and read aloud key text.
  • Power Points
  • Videos should include Closed Captioning.
  • Consider providing an ASL interpreter for keynote presentations. 
  • Speakers should use microphones. Have a microphone available for questions, or repeat audience questions into the microphone.

During the Event

  • Event staff should be prepared to help accommodate attendees with disabilities.  This may include giving directions for drop-off and accessible parking, seating or using the amenities of the building.


There are many ways that faculty can make their courses and course materials accessible to students with disabilities. The following units provide resources and assistance:

  • Academic accommodations and services: Faculty seeking information about accommodations and services available to students with disabilities should consult the Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity office (Monroe Park Campus) or the Division for Academic Success (MCV Campus).
  • Academic technologies: The Learning Systems department provides workshops and consultations to help faculty use university-supported eLearning applications and tools, as well as recommendations for making course content accessible.
  • VCU Online for Faculty and Online@VCU: Through workshops, online resources and individual consultations, both groups provide specific pedagogically focused guidance for faculty teaching with technology and can assist with making course materials accessible.
  • Captioning: VCU provides guidelines, definitions and approved vendors to help employees caption videos and audio recordings so they are accessible to all users.
  • Procurement: VCU’s Office of Procurement Services can assist in identifying vendors who can meet accessibility needs and in creating appropriate agreements.

All public-facing VCU websites, including any web content, must comply with VCU’s web standards for accessibility, which follow the WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards. VCU provides specific guidance, training and technical assistance to the Web Users Group and Social Media Administrators Group through their meetings and listservs. Any unit with a website or social media account must have a representative in the appropriate group(s).

  • VCU Web Standards and Guidelines
  • Sign up for Web Users Group listerv.
  • Sign up for the Social Media Administrators Group.
  • Captioning: VCU provides guidelines, definitions and approved vendors to help employees caption videos and audio recordings so they are accessible to all users.
  • SiteImprove: This software continually crawls and analyzes webpages for accessibility errors, broken links, and spelling mistakes; results are then summarized in a dashboard for helpful insight into fixing the errors.
  • Social media: Questions concerning captioning and accessibility on social media sites can be directed to
  • Procurement: VCU’s Office of Procurement Services can assist in identifying vendors who can meet accessibility needs and in creating appropriate agreements.

The following university policies provide additional information about VCU’s obligations with respect to individuals with disabilities.

Have an ADA or accessibility concern?

Please email VCU’s ADA coordinator at, or fill out the Campus Accessibility Concern Form

Experiencing an accessibility problem on a VCU website?

If you come across an accessibility issue on a VCU website, please let us know by emailing

Making VCU websites accessible

VCU’s web standards for accessibility help guide web creators toward practices that make their sites easier for everyone to use.