Student who use wheelchairs, crutches or canes, or have other mobility limitations (e.g., from amputations, back injuries, extreme fatigue, asthma, etc.) may find the following information useful.
Students who use wheelchairs or have other mobility limitations (including limited use of hands/arms as well as ambulatory difficulties) should be able to physically access all academic programs for which they are academically qualified. Some academic programs may require certain physical abilities so it is recommended that a student with a disability that affects mobility check to see if any required activities will be problematic. Students are expected to meet the same requirements as other students for admission and for graduation in any academic program. If a student anticipates an accommodation may need to be made for a particular physical limitation, the student may need to negotiate what might and might not be acceptable as an accommodation.
A student will be provided an accommodation for any physical activity required to participate in a course as much as possible. If the activity is a fundamental requirement of the course and a student is unable to perform the actvity, the student may be considered unqualified for the course. If the course is essential to a particular program of study, a substitution may be possible if approved by the academic program. Waivers for particular courses or fundamental activities are not generally provided as an accommodation.
Colorado State University continually improves and enhances the level of physical access of the campus. However, since the campus was originally designed over 100 years ago, not all buildings and/or areas may be completely wheelchair-user friendly. In addition, as the campus has grown, buildings are located over a larger area and on different campuses.
Fortunately, the buildings used for most classes are located on the main campus and are relatively close to each other with accessible paths. For those buildings that are further from the center of campus, "disabled" parking is usually located near an accessible entrance.
It is strongly suggested to those who have mobility limitations to assess the physical layout and location of classes prior to the beginning of each semester to ensure an easy and convenient route is identified.
Students who live off campus will need to consider transportation needs to and from campus. Many of the bus routes in Fort Collins are accessible although the location of bus stops may be problematic for some. Dial-A-Ride, a paratransit service offered by the city, may be one option for those with severe limitations and who are not located near a bus stop. In addition, RDS may be able to provide transportation to and from campus through its Transportation Services, depending upon the availabiilty of drivers. Contact RDS Transportation Coordinator for more information. Note: Accessible transportation services provided by RDS are suspended until further notice.
The campus is physically accessible although it is not "barrier free." The majority of classroom buildings have at least one accessible main entrance (with automatic doors), an elevator and at least one accessible pair of restrooms. If a particular class is in an inaccessible location, the class may be moved. Requests to move classrooms should be made through RDS. Students with mobility limitations should check out the locations of their courses prior to the first day of classes so that needed changes can be made in a timely manner.
The Lory Student Center, the Morgan Library, Hartshorn Health Center and the Student Recreation Center buildings are all accessible to students using wheelchairs. The majority of student support services for students are also located in accessible locations. If a student is unable to access a particular office or person due to architectural barriers, arrangements will be made to provide a service or meeting elsewhere.
All freshman are required to live on campus, unless they live with their parents in Fort Collins or an area within commuting distance. Not all residence halls are accessible for students using wheelchairs. However, as new residence halls are built, access has been included in the design.
At the present, one of the older residence halls and closest to class room buildings, Braiden Hall, provides a "suite" living arrangement (one bathroom shared between two rooms, shower only; two people per room). One or two suites are available per floor, with an elevator providing access to the upper floors, laundry facilities, and study rooms. Dining services are also available in this residence hall.
Summit Hall, one of the newer halls, offers "suite" rooms with a some single occupancy rooms. Dining services are not available in this residence hall but are available across the street at the Academic Village. The Academic Village, the newest residence complex, also has full accessibility features. This residence complex houses engineering students and those enrolled in the Honors program as well as general students.
Braiden is located nearest major classroom buildings and is recommended for students who might have difficulty with distances. An "accessible" room can be requested as a "single" (without roommate) to accommodate the space needed for a wheelchair or other equipment.
Family and graduate housing (apartments) also include a limited number of accessible units. For more information, contact Housing and Dining Services, Palmer Center, 1005 W. Laurel, (970) 491-6511.
Parking on campus is at a premium. There is a charge to park on campus for everyone. Some lots have parking meters; others are restricted to specific groups and require a CSU Parking Permit. Most lots will have specific spaces designated as "disabled" spaces, either by a blue sign or blue parking meter. In order to park in the unmetered "disabled" spaces, you will need a CSU "H" Parking Permit. Parking at any blue parking meters requires you to pay (unless you have a CSU "H" Parking Permit.)
Regardless of your State Disability permit, in order to park in any "handicapped" spaces (with or without a meter), you will need a CSU "H" Parking Permit sticker. The cost of the H Parking Permit is equivalent to the cost faculty and staff pay for the privilege of parking in lots that are closer to the center of campus. (Student permits are slightly lower than faculty/staff). The "H" Parking Permit allows you to park in restricted lots but does not limit you to only designated "handicapped" spaces. If you choose to park in a blue metered space, you are required to pay unless you have a CSU "H" Parking Permit.
Most of the general "handicapped" spaces are larger than average spaces and some will provide enough room for vans with lifts. However, these spots may not always be available during peak daytime hours. It is suggested that you come early to campus in order to find the most convenient spot for your needs. A limited number of "handicapped" spaces may be reserved for specific drivers (via license plate). If you park in any of these, you run the risk of being towed regardless of whether or not you have a CSU "H" Parking Permit.
Verification of the need for a CSU "H" Parking Permit may be required. For more information, contact Parking Services, Lake Street Garage, (970) 491-7041.
The accessibility of Fort Collins varies. Most of the major shopping areas, recreation activities and city services are accessible to persons using wheelchairs, including the availability of "disabled" parking. However, it may still be necessary to "call ahead" to ascertain the level of accessibility for some locations. While accessible housing can be obtained, choices may be limited due to a student's unique needs. For more information on community access issues, contact Disabled Resources Services (DRS), 424 North Pine, Suite 101, Fort Collins, CO, 80524, (970) 482-2700. DRS is the local independent living agency for this area of Colorado.
Community transportation services for those using wheelchairs are also somewhat limited as not all bus routes may be accessible. Dial-A-Ride is a para-transit system that provides door-to-door service and has an application process for eligibility. For more information on accessible bus routes and Dial-A-Ride, contact Transfort, (970) 221-6620.
Priority Registration - Student with mobility limitations may benefit from priority registration. This provides an earlier access time into the on-line registration system for selecting classes and allows for a better opportunity arrange a schedule that meets particular needs. The registration period for a semester begins in the middle of the prior semester. Each class is given access at different times, with athletes, upper classmen (juniors and seniors) and graduate students first to register. Priority registration gives an undergraduate student with a disability access to registration at the same time graduate students are able to register. It does NOT give a student priority to getting in a class but merely an earlier chance to reserve a space in the class. Priority will be given to a student until he or she graduates. To be eligible for Priority Registration, a student must self-identify with RDS.
Classrooms Accessibility - Some classrooms may be located in an inaccessible area of a building. It is possible to move some classes to another part of the campus for accessibility reasons. A student who finds a class location problematic, should contact one of the RDS specialists to see if moving it will be possible.
Accessible Transportation Services - RDS does provide transportation support via an accessible van. These services are provided to students with either permanent or temporary mobility limitations. Services are usually restricted to on campus travel and those with permanent mobility limitations are given priority. Transportation services are usually rides that bring a student to and from specific locations on campus.
Wheelchair Loan - Students who experience a temporary mobility limitation may borrow a wheelchair for a specific duration. A deposit is required at the time of the loan and returned once the wheelchair is no longer needed.
Alternative Testing Services - If a mobility impairment interferes with a student's ability to take an exam, Alternative Testing Services might be an apropriate accommodation. Students may find them helpful if, for example, they have difficulty writing or they cannot sit for long periods of time. RDS would be able to provide a scribe or a location where student could stand or lie down while taking an exam.
There may be other services or support that would be helpful for a student with a mobility limitation. For more information as to what may be available for students with mobility limitations, contact one of the RDS specialists, (970) 491-6385.
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