ADA Accessibility

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ADA Accessibility at SIU Carbondale Commencement

American Sign Language Interpreter

All ceremonies will have an American Sign Language interpreter. The ASL interpreter is on the left/west side of the stage. Seating in sections 109-110 and 209-210 provides the best view of the interpreter. Captioning is provided on the video boards. Additional questions or requests for accommodations may be directed to 618-453-5738.


Drop off for guests with limited mobility is available at the west side of the Banterra Center (off Douglas Drive), and designated parking for vehicles with disability plates or placards is located in Lot 52Click here to access a detailed SIU Campus parking map.

Guest Seating

The Banterra Center is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Seating for wheelchairs and people with limited mobility is available throughout the concourse level on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information regarding guests’ special-needs accommodations, contact University Events at 618/453-7424 or email

Graduate Seating

Seating for all graduates, as well as hooding faculty, is on folding chairs on the Banterra Center floor. If you need accommodations, such as a larger chair, an extra chair for a personal assistant, or space for a wheelchair; please let a marshal or Commencement staff member know. We want the day to be the best possible for all of our graduates. You may also email if you would like to discuss arrangements in advance.

Graduates are not required to sit in a particular order, but there are designated sections based on degree (doctorate, Masters, and Bachelors) and college/school. Undergraduates go directly to the floor for seating, so if you would like to sit with friends or classmates, plan to arrive together. Graduate students who wish to be seated together should line up together. Doctoral and MFA students will be seated next to their hooding faculty.

Ceremony Overview

During the ceremony, graduate students, faculty, and members of the platform party will process in. Undergraduates will be seated on the Banterra Center floor at the beginning.

After the processional, there will be remarks from the President, Chancellor, and possibly others.

Following the remarks, degrees will be conferred. During the degree conferral, candidates are asked to rise or wave (as they are able) to be recognized. After degrees are conferred, candidates are invited to cross the stage, where their names are read and they are handed a scroll or diploma cover.

Candidates enter the stage via ramps on either side. Those who are able exit the stage down the center stairs, but candidates who cannot navigate the stairs may cross to the opposite side and exit down the ramp.

Names are read from a reader card. Reader cards have space for graduates to write out a phonetic spelling of their name to assist the reader. This space can also be used for adjustments such as a preferred name or inclusion/exclusion of a middle name.

Photos are taken by a professional company (Grad Images) at multiple points on stage. Proofs will be sent to the graduate within a few weeks of Commencement, and you may order print and/or digital copies if you choose.

After all graduates cross the stage, the Chancellor will give brief remarks and lead the graduates in turning their tassels. We will play a brief welcome video from the SIU Alumni Association, and sing the Southern Alma Mater. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the platform party and faculty will recess out, followed by all graduates. Families and guests will meet their graduates outside or in the concourse or lobby areas.


There is no rehearsal for graduates prior to Commencement. Graduates who would like to preview the space in advance may contact Disability Support Services at 618/453-5738 to schedule an individual walk-through.


The ceremony includes music and video components. A streamer cannon will go off at the end, which makes a loud noise. There may be loud noises at other times during the ceremony when guests celebrate their graduates (although air horns and other noise makers are strongly discouraged).

Additional Accommodations

Students with disabilities should contact Disability Support Services at 618/453-5738 to discuss specific accommodations that can be made (outside of those listed above).

Requests for other accommodations for guests may be made to or 618/453-7424.