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Service Animals

IUPUI does not have a formal policy regarding service animals. Guide dogs, companion animals, or any animal that serves a medical function is permitted on campus. However, the campus expects that the animal will be under control and on a leash at all times. Furthermore, it is expected that the owner will be responsible for cleaning up after the animal, feeding and providing water for the animal. Such animals shall not be left in closed vehicles unattended on campus. If others in a class have medical problems because of the presence of an animal, bring this matter to the attention of AES immediately so that the matter can be addressed.

Bad Weather Policy


IUPUI's Chancellor determines whether the campus will close due to bad weather; however, individual instructors may also cancel classes. Students with disabilities that travel in bad weather should discuss this with their instructors and rely on information provided by their instructors via e-mail, phone, web or Oncourse to determine whether the instructor plans to hold classes. Then the student must carefully weigh the weather conditions in their area and on campus to determine whether it is safe to travel. Students on crutches, wheelchairs or with poor vision may find icy conditions especially problematic. Ultimately, the decision regarding safety must be made by the student.

IUPUI's Emergency Evacuation Plan

IUPUI has an emergency plan for dealing with fires, violent storms with hail, tornados, earthquakes, utility interruption, shootings or biological/chemical crises. A copy of the plan is online and has a separate section on evacuation for persons with disabilities. The system is built around floor and assistant floor wardens on each floor to ensure evacuations of their floors. The plan also includes a Buddy system which pairs a volunteer with a person with a disability who may have difficulties in an evacuation.

The plan recognizes several categories of disabilities and AES sees other individuals who may need assistance. Students falling into one of these categories or believing that they may need assistance, should contact floor wardens for each class or regular campus activity. The wardens will assign a Buddy or the student may ask a fellow student, staff or faculty member to assist in the case of an emergency. Students with disabilities do not have to a work with a Buddy. This service is optional. However, if students have classes in the evenings, weekends, or in sites off-campus, a Buddy is advisable.

The categories of students with disabilities who may need assistance are students with hearing issues, with vision issues, with mobility issues, or with breathing issues. In most cases, persons with limited or total vision loss are familiar with the areas in which they have classes. If they are capable of navigating stairs and are informed of the safe stairways, they should be able to reach the first floor and building exits with little or no assistance. In case of storms, they should be able to reach the basement or safe areas with little or no assistance.

Students with hearing disabilities may have two issues – knowing that there is an emergency, and knowing what the initial and any subsequent instructions are. If the student uses an interpreter, the interpreter can sign any relevant information to the student. If the student uses tape recorders or note takers, the student's Buddy can provide the information needed for a successful evacuation.

Students with mobility issues vary from students who can't walk for any distance without resting, those using crutches, braces, walkers or chairs. This group may include students with temporary disabilities who have not linked up with the Buddy system. Any student in this category needs to establish a relationship with a Buddy for each and every class/laboratory/campus activity and do it for every semester. The first issue is whether the student can navigate stairs. If they can’t safely navigate stairs, the students and their Buddies need to determine the closest designated safe places on the floor of the students’ class. If the student can, especially with help, use the stairs, they need to discuss timing strategies so that the students don’t get caught in the mass evacuation, but waits until the majority of the students have used the stairway. They need to discuss what to do if the students need to evacuate the building rather than remain in safe area until the all-clear signal or until rescued by trained police or fire personnel. It is vital if the student remains in the building in a designated safe area, that the Buddy or the class instructor evacuate the building and immediately inform a fire marshal or person in authority of exactly where the student is. The emergency number to call is (317) 274-7911.

If the emergency is life threatening and the student with mobility issues must be carried out, the Buddy will rely on the information provided by the student as to the best way to evacuate the student. The Buddy probably will need to recruit assistance. Care is vital to protect the student, the Buddy and the equipment. In cases of crutches or braces, the Buddy may be able to provide the stability for the student to make the stairs successfully but slowly. The key to the correct approach is asking the student for information.

The last category of students with disabilities that may need assistance are students with breathing issues related to a number of chronic illnesses including asthma. The stress of an emergency and smoke, the use of inhalers or oxygen and limited strength may put such students at severe risk and require the assistance of a Buddy to work out the best strategies for evacuation in case of an emergency.

In other cases of emergencies, students with disabilities should follow the procedures developed for students. Again discussing issues with the instructors is invaluable in cases such as taking cover under tables or being washed following acid spills.

Campus Facilities Services has a complete up-to-date list of floor and assistant floor wardens so that students with disabilities can contact those individuals to get Buddies assigned and learn the designated safe areas on the floors on which they have classes. Faculty members may also be willing to help students identify Buddies especially in night or weekend classes.