The university will convene a DEI Facilities Working Group to establish campuswide guidelines for new construction that support a more accessible and inclusive physical environment. The working group will partner with units across campus whose missions support accessibility and inclusion.

Year Four Progress:

In Year Three, the U-M Student IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Board was created to assess U-M’s infrastructure in terms of its ability to support and include students who are impacted by barriers within the university culture relating to disability, accessibility or ableism. The specific task was to generate actionable recommendations that could be attained within a short-to-medium-term timeline, in a collective and collaborative way. Using an approach the Board referred to as Universal Design for Living, members set about the work of creating an institution that is both accessible and proactive in all aspects. In December of Year Four, they presented their recommendations. Since then, the Provost Office has planned and implemented strategies for achieving a number of those initiatives. This work is ongoing.

To date, the university has advanced an array of recommendations generated by the Student IDEA Board:

  • The University modified its building code, in support of accessibility, to require that new construction or renovation of an accessible entrance include at least one door with an automatic opening mechanism.
  • The University modified its building code to require that new construction adhere to a 66-inch turning radius and expanded variations for the T-turn, determined by research studies to be more accessible.
  • The Department of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) and other entities have begun working to ensure greater accessibility of safety and emergency response procedures by: holding regular meetings with IDEA Board members, incorporating feedback and suggestions from the disability community, leveraging technology to support and disseminate time-sensitive emergency response resources for disabled individuals, and including individuals with disabilities on the DPSS Student Advisory Board.
  • A project is underway to create an accessible map for the Ann Arbor campus indicating accessible entry points, parking, and public transportation sidewalk routes. The project will also provide a cost estimate for signage to identify non-accessible entries and indicate locations of accessible entries. Scheduled completion date is Oct 2021.
  • The Services for Students with Disabilities Office (SSD) has modified its procedures, allowing students to change their coordinator under appropriate circumstances.
  • To improve communication and responsiveness, SSD has further modified its policies so that those with multiple disabilities work primarily with a single coordinator.

Responsibility: Office of the Provost and the Office of University Facilities and Operations