UTEP Commencement Services

class of 2016

Services Available for People with Disabilities

The UTEP Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) provides services during all major graduation ceremonies for students and members of the community with disabilities that attend these events. To highlight the types of services offered there are separate sections in the following text for:

  • Students that are participating in the graduation ceremonies, and for
  • Members of their families and guests.

Services for students with disabilities that are participating in the ceremonies:

Degree Candidates with disabilities needing accommodations to participate during the ceremonies are asked to contact their college, school, or department representative to ensure proper arrangements are made prior to arrival. Once notified, CASS will provide these students with services prior to and during the ceremonies.

Such services include:

  • Pre-admission to the ceremony
  • Preferred seating for people that have limited mobility or need access to ASL Interpreters.
  • An accessible entrance for students with mobility-related disabilities

For all students that are participating in the ceremony, ramps are available to ensure access to the stage during and after the presentation of the diploma.

Please contact our office at least two weeks in advance, or as soon as possible if you need special accommodations during the event.

The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
Union Building East, Room 106
Phone: (915) 747-5148
Email: cass@utep.edu

During each Saturday event, three Commencement ceremonies will be held. They are as follows:

  Three Ceremonies   Colleges and Schools
1st Ceremony; 9:00 am College of Liberal Arts
2nd Ceremony; 2:00 p.m. College of Business Administration, College of Education, and School of Nursing
3rd Ceremony; 7:00 p.m. College of Engineering, College of Science,   College of Health Sciences
These ceremonies will last approximately two hours.

Services for family members with Disabilities:

For visitors with disabilities, the following are some of the services will be provided during Commencement ceremonies such as:

  • For individuals needing wheelchair access, CASS staff will be available in the Guest Services area. The Guest Services office is located inside the East entrance of the Don Haskins Center.
  • A reserved seating section has been designated for guests that are deaf and need access to American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services. Please asked to be seated in Sections V, W or X.
  • A limited number of wheelchairs are available for transportation within the Don Haskins Center. Such assistance is available at each of the main building entrances.  It is recommended that those with wheelchairs, walkers, canes and strollers enter through the North and East entrances of the Don Haskins Center.
  • For those with their own wheelchair, the CASS staff can help identify the sections with accessible seating.
  • Ushers will be available to direct all guests to accessible seating. As indicated on the floor plan below, wheelchair and companion seating is found on the Concourse level in Sections E, D, J, L, Q, R, V & W. Only one family member may accompany the individual in these designated areas. All other family members must find seating as available.
  • Seating on the floor level is limited to only those that are directly participating in the ceremony. Therefore, there is no public access to the Don Haskins Center via the tunnel entrance off Glory Road. Please access the parking lots off Mesa St. or Sun Bowl Drive.
  • Wheelchair Assistance: Because commencement draws a large audience, the facilities we use are large, and our guests may have to walk long distances to get to the Don Haskins Center and then to their seats. Guests that use wheelchairs, have limited mobility, or are in need of deaf services, will be escorted to designated seating in accessible locations.
  • Limited Mobility: Wheelchairs are available only to assist people from the entrance of the building to their seats on the Concourse Level of the Don Haskins Center. These wheelchairs cannot remain with the guests. Instead, guests will be transferred to designated seating in that section.

Don Haskins Center Floor Plan

Other specifications:

  • The Glory Road Parking Garage located on Glory Rd. and Mesa Street, is accessible for individuals with disabilities and is equipped with an elevator. All family members and guests with mobility impairments will need to enter the Don Haskins Center via the Mesa Street entrances. The Dons Haskins Center is not accessible via the South tunnel.
  • Courtesy wheelchairs: Use of courtesy wheelchairs are strictly limited only to areas inside the Don Haskins Center.
  • Passenger drop-off: It is recommended that any passenger needing assistance be dropped off at the East Entrance of the Don Haskins Center via Mesa Street or Sun Bowl Drive. CASS Staff will be available with wheelchairs to assist guests to the accessible seating locations on the Concourse Level of the facility. Following the ceremony, staff will also assist guests in returning to the drop-off location.
  • Parking: For the easiest building access, please park in the accessible parking lot R-3 via the North entrance of the Don Haskins Center as indicated below. Please use Sun Bowl Drive to access lot R-3.
  • Language: The ceremonies will be held in English, with some greetings made in Spanish. ASL Interpreters will be placed to the left side of the stage during all three ceremonies.

Accessible parking areas are located in the following map in gray:

Disclaimer: Please note the CASS staff cannot take responsibility for any personal items such as strollers, walkers, canes, or any other items for the duration of the ceremony.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
For family members and friends attending the graduation ceremonies

Q: I will be bringing an elderly passenger who cannot walk very far. What should I do?

A: Drop the passenger off at the East entrance (off Mesa Street) of the Don Haskins Center. Staff will be available with wheelchairs to assist guests to accessible seating locations that are reserved for people with disabilities. Following the ceremony, staff will also assist guests in returning to the drop-off location.

Please Note: A limited number of complimentary wheelchairs are available as a courtesy to transport guests to the accessible seating locations. These wheelchairs are not available for use during the duration of the program.

Q: My family member is deaf or hard of hearing. Will an interpreter or any other accommodations be provided?

A: A reserved seating section for deaf and hard of hearing guests requiring sign language interpreting services is available in Sections V, W or X. The actual location might vary between ceremonies. Please be aware that all three graduation ceremonies will have ASL Interpreter signing for the duration of the ceremony.

If you have further questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact:

The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS)
Union Building East, Room 106
Phone: (915) 747-5148; Fax: (915) 747-8712
Email: cass@utep.edu