Make UArts Accessible for All- Demand a Plan & Fund Transparency from CEO David Yager

Make UArts Accessible for All- Demand a Plan & Fund Transparency from CEO David Yager

381 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
David Yager and

Why this petition matters

The Disabled student body at the University of the Arts, with the support of community allies, present this petition to the Office of the President as a demand for equal rights and access to University spaces. 

The needs of our community have gone unrecognized for far too long. For years, The University of the Arts has lacked critical accessibility for common community spaces such as classrooms, studios, theaters, stages, and courtyards.

  • Currently, 4 out of 5 teaching buildings (and 2 out of 4 dorm buildings) at UArts are not equipped with automatic door buttons for disabled students.
  • The outdated elevator lift in Gershman Hall requires the assistance of an able-bodied person to operate, and has literally trapped disabled students in its enclosure several times.
  • The only entrance to the Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace (the 'innovative technology lab' at our school) effectively bans wheelchair users at its entrance– a staircase with no alternative.
  • Title IX reports of inaccessibility on campus have been ignored, swept aside, unaddressed and unresolved. 

Many students have identified locations all around campus which pose a constant problem to disabled students and wheelchair users to faculty and administration. What prompt action will be taken for the accessibility inequality at UArts? Who will take responsibility for the barriers we identified in order to remove them?

In an email to UArts students, President Yager stated that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was working on "a multiyear report that includes concrete recommendations and strategies for enhancing accessibility at UArts". This will not do disabled students justice when we still cannot get to class on time & are excluded from spaces (being "relocated” to other classrooms) because there is no entry which will accommodate us.

President Yager also alleged that an "access plan" was devised by the Office of Accessibility in the summer of 2021 which included "discrete strategies to broaden access to our campus”. Does this "plan" involve actual, infrastructural change?  When and where will these changes happen? Does this plan have a budget, or even a timeline? How can UArts “continue to embrace an outlook that moves beyond mere compliance”, when urgent student access needs continue to go unmet, as committees deliberate who is responsible for action, for months with no resolution?

These petitioning students and community members of UArts demand a plan and fund allocation from CEO David Yager to make our campus fully accessible and ADA-compliant. We urge the President’s Office to allocate funds and green-light projects that will serve to broaden access to UArts spaces all around campus.

Install ramps and door buttons. Install a lift that isn't broken. Give us back our rights to an equal education. 

President Yager, we urge you to step up to the plate. These spaces have been identified— now it’s time for renovations. 

381 have signed. Let’s get to 500!