Campus Accessibility

Commitment to Making the Campus Accessible

Given that Northwestern was chartered and many of the buildings on Northwestern's campuses were built long before the passage of disability-related laws, our campuses provide a variety of challenges to creating a physically accessible environment for students with mobility-related impairments. Increasing physical access to buildings and facilities is a priority of the University and its Accessibility Council.

In contrast to physical access, programmatic access is much more readily attainable. Programmatic access ensures that all classes, programs, and activities will be held in accessible locations and that accessible course materials and technology will be used. This may mean that classes, programs, or activities need to be moved from their originally scheduled location or course websites, materials, or technology used in class  need to be adapted or converted. However, if moving a class, program, or activity would fundamentally change the learning environment, structural alterations may be made to the existing room or facility.

To keep the University as physcially accessible as possible, please report any accessibility concerns you have. 

Parking and Transportation

Students who use mobility aids such as electric scooters, wheelchairs, canes, or crutches are advised to research the most accessible route to get to and from class. For information regarding construction on campus and planning alternate routes, view Facilities Management's construction updates or call 847-491-4269 (Evanston) or 312-503-8000 (Chicago).

Students can use the University's shuttle services, which are wheelchair-accessible, or other means of transportation if available, appropriate, and safe. After dark, students with mobility impairments may want to request SafeRide's handicap-accessible van. Students who meet Health Service's criteria for urgent medical transport services should contact Health Service at 847-491-2204 (during business hours) and 847-491-8100 (after hours).

ADA parking spaces

Any student who wishes to use parking designated for individuals with disabilities or temporary injuries must have a state disabled parking permit or license tag, or temporary disabled placard. If not already in possession of one of these, it is recommended that they acquire a temporary disabled placard (external site) through the City of Evanston or regular disability parking permit through their state of residence.

In addition, anyone parking on Northwestern's campuses, in an ADA or non-ADA space, must purchase a Northwestern parking permit. Students should take their proof of disability parking to University Parking Operations (1841 Sheridan Road, 847-491-3319) to purchase a Northwestern parking permit. With a disability or injury placard/permit/plate plus any type of Northwestern parking permit, students can park in any lot on campus in any ADA space and in any non-reserved standard parking spaces.

Standard parking spaces

Students with disabilities or with short-term injuries who do not have a state disability parking permit, license tag, or temporary disabled placard but require parking consideration are required to register with AccessibleNU and be approved by AccessibleNU in order to purchase their Northwestern parking permit from Parking Operations. For instance, a student living in the walking zone or who needs to park in a particular Northwestern lot or type of lot will likely need to work through ANU.

A variety of campus maps are available, and if visiting our AccessibleNU office, please see our maps and directions.