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Division of Student Affairs


Physical Access

Campus Access

As the physical campus has expanded uphill from Pacific Avenue, the University of Washington Tacoma has made it a priority to incorporate a variety of wheelchair accessible routes via a network of ramps, switchback trails, elevators and a sky-bridge. All campus buildings have been made wheelchair accessible via electronic door openers, internal ramps and elevators. Most bathrooms on campus also have electronic door openers, and every building on campus has accessible bathrooms. Below is information describing accessible routes from both Pacific and Jefferson Avenues.

From Jefferson Avenue and Diamond Parking Lot*

You can access central campus via the following routes. Please see Campus Map and Directions for a map of this trail and all other routes described below:

*The diamond parking lot is located on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 21st Street.

From Pacific Avenue

There are elevators leading to central campus:

There is also a paved switchback trail leading up and down between Pacific Avenue and the central campus plaza located between the UW Tacoma Bookstore and Taco Del Mar.

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Disability Parking

As of 2006 University-owned disability parking spaces have been provided adjacent to the Pinkerton, Dougan, and Cherry Parkes Buildings. There are six spaces in front of the Cherry Parkes Building that are marked on the pavement with the universal wheelchair logo and are free of charge to those who have state-issued disability placards or license plates visible on their cars.

All University owned disability parking spaces are available for a weekly or quarterly fee to UW Tacoma students, staff and faculty who have presented acceptable medical of a temporary or permanent disability affecting mobility to the UW Tacoma DSS office.


To receive a permit for disability parking as a student you must first qualify for this kind of assistance and register with Disability Support Services at UW Tacoma. Once registered with DSS, the student is given a signed form indicating eligibility to purchase a disability-parking permit that the student then takes to the UW Tacoma Cashier where the disability-parking permit is purchased.

PLEASE NOTE: Students wishing to purchase successive permits must remember to always first make an appointment with DSS so that a current form can be issued. Eligibility forms are time-limited. Current, signed and dated DSS forms are required by the Cashier before new disability parking permits can be purchased.


To receive disability parking as an Employee of UW Tacoma you may seek accommodations through the Disability Services Office (DSO) on the Seattle campus. Once documentation of a mobility-limiting condition is provided to DSO, a similar process as that for students is put into action. The UW Seattle Disability Services Office may be reached at:

Please Note: Any space that is designated for disability parking, whether or not it is in a parking lot owned by a private business, requires the proper disability permit for use. You could be subjected to a substantial parking violation fine issued by the Tacoma Police if you do not have a documented disability and state-issued disability license plates or a disability placard hanging from your rear-view mirror.

UW Tacoma provides an easier way for the campus community to purchase quarterly parking passes for the Diamond Parking lots, through the cashier's office. Diamond Parking has parking lots within walking distance of campus, and the new Court 17 Parking Garage located off of South 17th and Market Streets. Both Diamond Parking on the corner of 21st Street and Jefferson Avenue, and the Court 17 parking lots provide disability parking spaces. Please visit the campus map to view these parking lot locations.

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City Street Parking

Any driver with a documented disability and a disability placard hanging from his or her rear-view mirror (or disability license plates) is eligible for unlimited parking in all designated city street parking spaces. This applies to all city street parking spaces - whether or not the spaces are time-limited, for instance one hour parking or metered parking spaces. Unlimited time does not apply to loading zones or designated non-parking zones. City parking does not guarantee wheelchair access spaces or nearby curb cuts. Also, this eligibility may change without notice, so it is important to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) to ensure that time constraints have not been put into effect.

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Safety Escort

For your safety, the University of Washington Tacoma encourages students, faculty, staff, and visitors to use the Campus Safety Escort Program. The service operates Monday through Thursday from 5:00pm to 10:30pm, except holidays, breaks and during Summer Quarter. The program is staffed with contracted security personnel. This service is free of charge to anyone who requests it. Dial #300 or #333 on a campus telephone and a Campus Safety Escort will walk you safely to your vehicle. If dialing from your cell phone, Campus Safety's direct number is (253) 692-4416.

Visit Campus Safety website for further information.

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Emergency Evacuation of People with Disabilities

Please visit the Campus Safety Emergency Action Plan Web page to learn about UW Tacoma's policies and procedures during times of emergency and disaster. This handout will give you information regarding assisting our campus community members with disabilities during emergencies.

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Campus Address, Building and Site Maps

The University of Washington Tacoma is located in Tacoma's historic downtown warehouse district. The UW Tacoma campus meets or exceeds the accessibility design requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Please visit the campus map to view detailed floor plans of each of our campus buildings, learn our address, and get directions to our campus.