George Mason University strives to be accessible to anyone attending university-sponsored events or visiting on campus. The following resources will assist with accessing services while traveling to and from campus, parking on campus, and/or participating in university-sponsored activities:
Access for Visitors and Event Accessibility
If you are attending an event and need specific information about accessing an event, including reasonable accommodations for a disability, please contact the office sponsoring the event. You may also contact the ADA Coordinator in Compliance, Diversity and Ethics at 703 993-8730 (voice) or firstname.lastname@example.org. The ADA Coordinator will then contact the program’s sponsors.
The Eagle Bank Arena, Center for the Arts, and the Hylton Performing Arts Center venues have ticketing and accommodations procedures (e.g., accessible seating) for those who need assistance. Select the links below for more information:
Prince William Campus
Parking, Transportation, and Emergency Preparedness
A George Mason University parking permit must be prominently displayed at all times for all vehicles. DMV issued disabled permits authorize the use of disabled parking at George Mason University owned or operated facilities in conjunction with the display of a valid George Mason University parking permit. Persons may only park in an appropriate disabled space and lot based on permit type. Disabled permit rates are the same as all other George Mason University parking permits issued for comparable periods of time. Permits are not transferable to other persons. Visitors must adhere to the visitor disabled parking requirements listed below.
Prince William Campus
- Mason Explorer – Online/Interactive Campus Maps – For updated accessible travel routes on all campuses, contact the Office of Disability Services at 703-993-2474 or the ADA Coordinator in the Compliance, Diversity and Ethics office at 703-993-8857. The physical accessibility map displays the locations for accessible parking, travel routes and doorways/entrances with assisted doors.
- Campus Maps & Directions
- Construction Updates! Visit http://building.gmu.edu.
Traveling to/from Campus
Parking and Transportation Services offers information on public transportation to and from all campuses.
- Parking & Transportation Services Website
- Metro Access – Metro Access is a shared-ride, door-to-door, para-transit service for people whose disability prevents them from using bus or rail. If you need para-transit service visit Metro Access: Accessible Transportation Website or call 301-562-5360.
- Metro Access Drop-Off Locations (Fairfax Campus) – Metro Access offers 3 drop-off locations on the Fairfax Campus: Finley Hall, Aquia Creek Lane, and Center for the Arts
- If you will require assistance accessing your building from any of these drop-off locations, please contact the Compliance, Diversity and Ethics office at 703-993-8730.
Visit Mason Ready for up-to-date resources to help you prepare for emergencies!
The following provides a general guideline of evacuation procedures for persons with disabilities during a fire and any other building emergency:
Faculty, staff, and students with disabilities must work with their supervisors, faculty, resident advisors, and the Environmental Health and Safety Office to identify their primary and secondary evacuation routes from each building they use. Emergency exit route signs are posted in conspicuous locations throughout university buildings. Each sign identifies primary exit routes, alternate exit routes, fire safety equipment, and Designated Assembly Areas. Emergency exit route signs also provide the building’s physical address and name.
To ensure a quick exit in the event of an emergency, individuals with disabilities need to:
- Be familiar with evacuation options (see below).
- Seek evacuation assistants who are willing to assist in case of an emergency.
- Educate the evacuation assistant on guidelines for working with individuals with disabilities to provide a quick and safe exit.
- Ask supervisors, faculty, Resident Advisors, or the Environmental Health and Safety Office about evacuation plans for buildings.
- Know the locations of the nearest Areas of Assistance in all buildings that are regularly occupied and always carry a mobile phone for emergencies.
- Practice evacuation procedures alone and with your evacuation assistants frequently.
For additional information about emergency evacuation and emergency procedures please reference the Environmental Health and Safety Office’s Emergency Preparedness Guides available online at ehs.gmu.edu.
Persons with disabilities must evacuate to the nearest safe exit. Persons with disabilities have four basic evacuation options:
Horizontal Evacuation: using building exits to the outside ground level or going into unaffected wings of multi-building complexes.
Stairway Evacuation: using steps to reach ground level exits from the building.
Area of Assistance: with an evacuation assistant, going to an Area of Assistance away from obvious danger. The evacuation assistant will then go to the building evacuation assembly point and notify the on-site emergency personnel of the location of the person with special needs. Emergency personnel will then facilitate evacuation.
An Evacuation Assistant is a volunteer, co-worker, classmate, suite mate, or friend who can lend assistance to persons with special needs during an emergency. Evacuation Assistants provide instruction during an evacuation, help individuals with special needs relocate to Areas of Assistance, notify first responders or emergency personnel of persons with special needs that are unable to evacuate a building, and provide support as necessary to ensure a safe evacuation. Evacuations Assistants are NOT responsible for physically evacuating an individual from a building. Carrying a person down a set of stairs or out of a building should only be done by trained emergency response personnel.
Usually, the safest Areas of Assistance are pressurized stair enclosures common to high-rise buildings, and open-air exit balconies. Other possible areas of assistance include: fire rated corridors or vestibules adjacent to exit stairs, and pressurized elevator lobbies. Many campus buildings feature fire rated corridor construction that may offer safe refuge. Taking a position in a rated corridor next to the stair is a good alternative to a small stair landing crowded with the other building occupants using the stairway. For assistance in identifying Areas of Assistance, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office.
Stay in Place: unless danger is imminent, remaining in a room with an exterior window, a telephone, and a solid or fire-resistant door is a viable option. With this approach, the person may keep in contact with University Police emergency services by dialing 911 and reporting his or her location directly. University Police will immediately relay the individual’s location to on-site emergency personnel, who will determine the necessity for evacuation. Phone lines are expected to remain in service during most building emergencies. If the phone lines fail, the individual can signal from the window by waving a cloth or other visible object.
The “Stay in Place” approach may be more appropriate for sprinkler protected buildings or buildings where an area of refuge is not nearby or available. It may also be more appropriate for an occupant who is alone when the alarm sounds. A solid or fire-resistant door can be identified by a fire label on the jam and frame. Non-labeled 1 3/4 inch thick solid core wood doors hung on a metal frame also offer good fire resistance.
Planning a Route
Prior planning and practicing of emergency evacuation routes are important in assuring a safe evacuation.
Mobility Impaired – Wheelchair
Persons using wheelchairs should move to an area of assistance with their assistant when the alarm sounds or stay in place and call 911. The evacuation assistant should then proceed to the evacuation assembly point outside the building and tell the University Police or the responding fire officials the location of the person with a special need. If the person with a special need is alone, he/she should phone emergency services at 911 with their present location and the Area of Assistance to which he/she is headed to. If the stair landing is chosen as the area of assistance, please note that many campus buildings have relatively small stair landings, and wheelchair users are advised to wait until the heavy traffic has passed before entering the stairway. Stairway evacuation of wheelchair users should be conducted by trained professionals (i.e. the fire department of other trained emergency responders). Moving a wheelchair down the stairs is never safe.
Mobility Impaired – Non-wheelchair
Persons with mobility impairments, who are able to walk independently, may be able to negotiate stairs in an emergency with minor assistance. If danger is imminent, the individual should wait until the heavy traffic has cleared before attempting the stairs. If there is no immediate danger (detectable smoke, fire, or unusual odor), the individual may choose to move to an Area of Assistance, call 911 with their location and wait until emergency personnel arrive.
Most buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm strobe lights; however, some are not. Persons with hearing impairments may not hear audio emergency alarms and will need to be alerted of emergency situations. Emergency instructions can be given by writing a short note explicitly stating to evacuate.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with hearing impairments may be met by modifying the building fire alarm system, particularly for occupants who spend most of their day in one location. Persons needing such accommodations should contact Ruth Townsend, ADA Coordinator at 703-993-8857 or email email@example.com for assistance.
Most people with a visual impairment will be familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes. Since the emergency evacuation route is likely different from the commonly traveled route, persons who are visually impaired may need assistance in evacuating. Identify evacuation assistants and practice evacuating with them often. The assistant should offer their elbow to the individual with a visual impairment and guide him or her through the evacuation route. During the evacuation the assistant should communicate as necessary to assure safe evacuation.