Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Monday, May 04, 2009

UWP commencement made more accessible

PLATTEVILLE- A new ramp and live video recording streamed on the internet are making the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's commencement ceremony more accessible.

The ramp is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. Everyone will use the ramp, so it eliminates students' need to ask for special accommodation. Before the ramp, the deans presenting diplomas would have to come down to the floor if graduates couldn't climb the stairs. The ramp is one of the first modifications to campus as part of the universal design.

"All things need to be accessible for all students. The ramp is an important step toward ensuring the students with disabilities are included and commencement is a big thing for them," said Becky Peters, coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities.

Universal design is part of Access Education, a project to ensure a high quality education for students with disabilities directed by UW-Milwaukee and funded by the United States Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education. A major benefit of universal design is that it makes environments more accessible to students with disabilities without hindering non-disabled people.

"Universal design gives access to a broader population. The ramp is a great example of the universal design concept. Everyone can use it, regardless of their ability," said Tom Lo Guidice, director of the UWP Teaching Excellence Center.

In addition to the ramp, the live video recording streamed online will enable guest who can not make it to commencement to watch it as it happens. This will be the first time the video has been streamed live and it will continue to be for future commencements.

"We have the technology to do it at no additional cost. It's a way to reach more people," said Colleen Garrity, director of Media Technology Services.

Past commencements can also be viewed. All commencement videos can be accessed at

Anyone wanting more information about commencement video streaming may contact Garrity at (608) 342-1628 or Anyone wanting more information about the ramp may contact Lo Guidice at (608) 342-1798 or

Contact: Tom Lo Guidice, director, UWP Teaching Excellence Center, (608) 342-1798,; Colleen Garrity, director, Media Technology Services, (608) 342-1628, Written by: Krystle Kurdi, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

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