Barriers to Access

Documents in Alternative Formats are available. For additional assistance, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at (479) 575-4019 or oeoc@uark.edu.

The University strives to prevent and remove barriers to access through maintenance and response to reported problems. Individuals who encounter a physical, electronic, or programmatic barrier on campus, such as an inoperative elevator or wheelchair lift, an inaccessible website, a blocked access ramp or any other access barrier, can assist the University in this effort by identifying the problem so the barrier can be removed as quickly as possible in order to maintain access for everyone.

Reports about barriers and other campus accessibility concerns should be reported by using the online form by clicking the following link: Barriers to Access Reporting Form

In order to properly address accessibility, understanding barriers is imperative.

Barriers to access are conditions or obstacles that prevent individuals with disabilities from using or accessing knowledge and resources as effectively as individuals without disabilities. Common types of barriers include:

Physical/Architectural/Structural: Conditions in any structural environment that prevent or impede an individual with a disability from efficiently navigating the setting. This barrier may result from the design of the building, shape of rooms, size of doorways, or width of hallways.

Examples:

      • Steps and curbs that block a person with mobility impairment from entering a building or using a sidewalk;
      • Inaccessible events or meeting spaces;
      • Accessibility features, such as automatic doors, are broken and not fixed promptly.

Information or Communication: When a person with a disability cannot easily receive and/or understand information that is available to others.

Examples:

      • Written communications or learning materials with barriers that prevent people with vision impairments from receiving the message. These include
        • Use of small print or no large-print versions of material, and
        • No Braille or versions for people who use screen readers.
      • Auditory communications may be inaccessible to people with hearing impairments, including
        • Videos that do not include captioning, and
        • Oral communications without accompanying manual interpretation (such as, American Sign Language).
      • The use of technical language, long sentences, and words with many syllables may be significant barriers to understanding for people with cognitive impairments. 

Technological: Software, electronic, or physical technologies that are not adaptable for use with assistive devices. 

Examples

      • A website or a webpage that does not support screen-reading software or does not provide alternative text for images;
      • Having only one way for individuals to contact you (ex. only by phone);
      • Emails or other electronic communications not accessible to people who use screen readers.

Systemic barriers are policies, practices or procedures that result in some people receiving unequal access or being excluded.

Examples:

      • People with disabilities are excluded from events by not considering their needs at the event planning stage.;
      • Not being aware of the different types of accommodations an employee might need when returning to work after an absence due to a disability.

Accessible Parking are requests for accessible parking placards for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville parking. 

      • Individuals must have a university parking permit along with the ada accessible parking permit to avoid fines. Please go to https://parking.uark.edu/parking-services/parking-permits/index.php to purchase the appropriate university permit.
      • Individuals should adhere to Parking Regulations 4.4: Accessible Parking Permits 
        • (4.4.1) Annual accessible (ADA) parking permits will be issued at the normal cost to any student or employee who has a state handicap parking placard or license plate issued in their name.

          (4.4.2) Temporary accessible (ADA) parking permits will be issued for the same length of time as the state temporary placard or for a maximum of seven (7) days based on an appropriate and licensed physician’s statement recommending a temporary accessible (ADA) permit.

          (4.4.3) ) LICENSED PHYSICIAN'S OR ORGANIZATION"S CERTIFICATION Form Link: https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/motorVehicleOffice/DrsCertificateforDisabled.pdf

          (4.4.4) Individuals seeking an Accessible Parking Permit should first seek to receive a state handicap parking placard or license plate, however, should there be extenuating circumstances where that is not available, you may contact the Director of Accommodations and Accessibility Services/ADA Coordinator.

      • Be prepared to list the lot number, if unknown reference the UofA Parking Map https://parking.uark.edu/parkmap.pdf

Medical Statement Forms

Additionally, for disability related requests, individuals may be asked to provide a Medical Statement Form from a licensed physician or other health care provider certifying the nature and type of physical or mental disability of the employee prior to making any decision regarding the request for reasonable accommodation.

The Medical Statement Form will be required, unless the disability/impairment is obvious or visible and the request corresponds with the disability. Employees may consult with the Director of Accommodation and Accessibility Services or the Accommodation Specialist as to whether the Medical Statement Form is required for their request.

This is to help the University understand the condition, capacities, or limitations in conjunction with the request.

The following Medical Statement Forms should be used, as appropriate:

Medical information obtained in connection with a request for reasonable accommodation shall be maintained by the Director of Accommodation and Accessibility Services or designee in files separate from the individual’s personnel file. Such information should be restricted to a need-to-know basis. The Director of Accommodation and Accessibility Services or designee may share certain information with an employee’s supervisor or other University official(s) as necessary to make appropriate determinations on a reasonable accommodation request. Employees receiving such information in connection with the reasonable accommodation process must keep the information confidential.

Employees are not required nor encouraged to disclose medical information or information about an impairment(s) to their supervisors.

The medical statement form should be sent directly to OEOC either by fax at 479.575.7637 or by email to access@uark.edu. It can also mail the information physically to:
c/o Director of Accommodation and Accessibility Services 
346 N. West Avenue 
1 University of Arkansas 
4 WAAX Fayetteville, AR 72701

Individuals are strongly encouraged to use the online reporting form and the medical statement form, as appropriate. These forms are designed to obtain sufficient information for the University to respond effectively to your request for accommodation. Not using the forms or providing incomplete information may delay the accommodation process due to the additional time needed to clarify your needs and related medical information.

If at any point you need assistance with either form, contact the Equal Opportunity, Compliance, and Title IX.