GW is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. If you have questions about accommodations, contact Disability Support Services at [email protected]. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.
Accessibility at Commencement on the National Mall
The National Mall is an outdoor, grassy area with concrete walkways. GW’s Commencement site has no shade or covering. There are shady areas underneath the trees that line our Commencement site; they fall outside of our reserved space and are open to the public, and guests, on a first-come, first-served basis.
ADA Seating and Drop-Off on the National Mall | Lactation, Nursing, and Changing Areas | Parking | Service Animals | Strollers | Visual and Audio Aids at the National Mall | Wheelchairs, Motorized Scooters, and Canes on the National Mall
Lactation, Nursing, and Changing Areas
Private lactation, nursing, and changing areas with electrical outlets, tables, and chairs will be available at Commencement on the National Mall. No refrigeration or storage is provided. Check with event staff or reference our site map (available by early May) for their locations.
There is no reservable, dedicated ADA parking on the National Mall. Limited public accessible parking spaces are available. A number of privately-owned parking garages are located within about half a mile of the Commencement site. Parking fees vary by location.
ADA Seating and Drop-Off on the National Mall
An ADA seating area is reserved for guests who have limited mobility; they may be accompanied by one guest. Commencement staff will be available to escort guests from the drop-off area to the ADA seating section. The ADA seating is located in close proximity to the drop-off location.
The ADA drop-off area is located on the south side of Constitution Avenue between 17th and 15th Streets, NW. This provides the most immediate and navigable access to the ADA seating area.
To gain access to the drop-off area, students and guests may pick up a placard for their vehicle from the Welcome Center help desk located in the University Student Center, 800 21st Street, 1st floor. The Welcome Center will be open:
Wednesday, May 17, 12-4 p.m.
Thursday, May 18, 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday, May 19, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, May 20, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday, May 21, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Graduates with limited mobility who require ADA seating at Commencement on the National Mall should report to the backstage check-in tent. No reservation is required for graduates in ADA seating. All graduates must be seated by 10:15 a.m.
Consistent with National Park Service guidelines, service animals are allowed at Commencement on the National Mall. For information about other animals allowed on National Park Service property, visit the National Park Pets website.
Collapsible strollers are allowed at Commencement on the National Mall in the guest seating area if they do not block the aisles.
Visual and Audio Aids at the National Mall
The Commencement site will have large screens with closed-captioning. A reserved area near the front of the stage is available for those who need American sign language (ASL) interpretation. The printed program will be available on the Commencement website for those who require a large-print version. An array of speakers for sound amplification will be available throughout graduate and guest seating.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) will be available at Commencement on the National Mall.
Guests requiring ALDs or ASL interpretation should notify staff at the backstage check-in tent.
Wheelchairs, Motorized Scooters, and Canes on the National Mall
The National Mall ceremony site is covered by uneven plastic flooring that may be slippery in the event of precipitation. Guests should use caution when walking on this surface or any of the surrounding areas.
Wheelchairs on the National Mall are available for limited, short-term use and cannot be dedicated to individual guests. Guests may rent wheelchairs and scooters if they need them for an extended period of time. Due to the individualized nature of mobility devices, guests are asked to make arrangements to secure a mobility device that supports their needs before the event. The university has compiled a list of providers for your convenience:
Accessibility at School Celebrations on Campus
Lactation, Nursing, and Changing Areas | Parking | Seating at School Celebrations on Campus | Service an Emotional Support Animals | Strollers | Visual and Audio Aids | Wheelchairs, Motorized Scooters, and Canes
Lactation, Nursing, and Changing Areas
The University Student Center (800 21st Street, NW) has a lactation room available on the 2nd floor, near the women’s restroom. Most women’s and all-gender restrooms on campus have changing stations available.
All university visitor parking garages are ADA compliant. Accessible parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is subject to standard parking fees. Visit the university’s parking website for more information about locations and fees.
Seating at School Celebrations on Campus
The Charles E. Smith Center, the University Student Center, and Lisner Auditorium have ADA seating available. Guests should check in with an usher when they arrive for access to ADA seating. Graduates who require accessible seating during their school celebration should notify their school.
Service and Emotional Support Animals
Service animals are allowed in university buildings. Only animals who meet the definition of a service animal have access to university facilities.
Collapsible strollers are allowed in all campus buildings including the University Student Center, Lisner Auditorium, and the Charles E. Smith Center. They must not block any entrances, exits, aisles, or pathways. In the Smith Center, strollers will be stored underneath the bleachers during events.
Visual and Audio Aids
The Charles E. Smith Center, Lisner Auditorium, and the Betts Theatre all have in-room sound amplification systems for school celebrations. These venues have assistive listening devices available for guests. Check-in with venue staff when you arrive for access to the wheelchair seating area.
The printed program for each school celebration will be available on that school’s website for those who require a large-print version. Click on the school’s name in the Commencement Schedule for access to its website.
American Sign Language (ASL) will be present at all school celebrations.
School celebrations in the Charles E. Smith Center will have Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) services.
School celebrations in Lisner Auditorium will have auto-generated captions available on their livestream video of the events. For a link to the livestream, click on the event in the Commencement Week schedule. Note: the livestream link will be posted the day of the event.
Wheelchairs, Motorized Scooters, and Canes
No wheelchairs or scooters are available for use at school celebrations. Guests may rent wheelchairs and scooters if they need them for an extended period of time. Due to the individualized nature of mobility devices, guests are asked to make arrangements to secure a mobility device that supports their needs before the event. The university has compiled a list of providers for your convenience:
Wheelchair-accessible seating is available at campus venues. Guests in these sections may have one companion with them. Any remaining guests that do not require accessible seating must sit in the general seating areas. Check-in with venue staff when you arrive for access to the wheelchair seating area.