Campus Accessibility Routes

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UW Tacoma has made it a priority to incorporate a variety of wheelchair accessible routes via a network of ramps, switchback trails, elevators and skybridges. All campus buildings are 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. The following describing accessible routes from both Pacific and Jefferson Avenues to facilities up the hill - including the University Y Student Center.

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:

  • A paved switchback trail located between the Tioga and Science Buildings that leads from Jefferson Avenue all the way down to the central campus plaza.
  • An open-air skybridge located in a recessed walkway area between the Science Building and Tacoma Paper & Stationary Building which connects with the Keystone Building. Once inside Keystone, use the elevator to take you down to the first floor, which is level with the central campus plaza.
  • An elevator inside the Science Building can take you to an exit leading to approximately the bottom half of the switchback trail.
  • An elevator inside the Dougan Building will take you to a first floor exit leading to a smaller ramp which will take you to the central campus plaza.

*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:

  • In the West Coast Grocery Building (at approximately 1734 Pacific Avenue)
  • In the University Bookstore located at 1911 Pacific Avenue near the lower entrance of the Garretson Woodruff Pratt Building (ask a Bookstore clerk for assistance).
  • In the Cherry Parkes Building (entrance between both sides of the Indochine Restaurant - the elevator is down the hall and to the left).
  • There is also a paved switchback trail leading up and down between Pacific Avenue and the central campus plaza located between the University Bookstore and the Walsh Gardner Building.

Disability Parking

University-owned disability parking spaces are 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 evidence 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. 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 Cashier's Office where the disability-parking permit can be 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 valid for a limited period of time only. 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:

  • Disability Services Office, Box 354560 (via Campus Mail)
  • 206-543-6450 (voice)
  • 206-543-6452 (TDD/TTY)
  • 206-685-7264 (fax)
  • (email)

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 campus parking lots through the Cashier's office. All parking lots and the Court 17 parking garage provide disability parking spaces. View parking lot locations.

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. Unlimited parking does not apply to loading zones or designated no-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.

Safety Escort

For your safety, the UW Tacoma encourages students, faculty, staff, and visitors to use the Campus Safety Escort Program. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service is free of charge to anyone who requests it. Dial 253-692-4416 to request a safety escort.

Emergency Evacuation Plan