A Variety of People, a Variety of Needs

Part of living our UU values is recognizing the differing needs of one another. If you did not include information about special needs on the registration form or if you have questions or concerns, please contact our SUUSI Accessibility Liaisons at access@SUUSI.org.

Accessibility Buddies

If you have experience with and/or would enjoy assisting or working with those with special needs, please consider volunteering to be an Accessibility Buddy.

Volunteers are needed to help those with special needs to carry trays in the dining hall, carry items to programming or elsewhere on campus, minimize triggers in programming, or other small requests. We are also in need of volunteers to work with Youth and Middlers who have neurodiverse or other special needs.

This is a WONDERFULLY ENRICHING way to make connections and build beloved
community! Please mark this box on registration or volunteer at access@SUUSI.org.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

We are very fortunate to have such competent and caring staff in the WCU dining hall!

Food Allergy and Sensitivity Meet

Food allergies, sensitivities, or other dining hall concerns?  Come to a Dining Accessibility Meetup to discuss or discover your options!  Choose either Sunday at 3pm or Monday at 9:30am to meet and take a brief tour of the dining hall.  Meet upstairs in the dining hall past the elevator by the cash register. For more information email access@suusi.org

Food Options

Gluten free and vegetarian options are regularly available. Ingredient identifications are available upon request. Dining hall staff are usually happy to check on ingredients for you; please be aware that requests made during peak meal times may require some patience before busy staffers are available to check for you. Be sure to attend the meet listed above to ask about specific needs.

Sensitivity to Noise, People, and Other Stimuli

Love SUUSI but easily overwhelmed? We hear you!

  • Take-out boxes available in the Dining Hall so that you can eat somewhere less
  • Quiet Zones: Meditation spaces, recovery spaces, and low stimuli spaces will be available around the campus. Check back here for more details as we get closer to our event.
  • Online Streaming and Closed Captioning: Morning and evening worship, concert
    hours, and TWOB will all be streamed online.

If you are planning to attend SUUSI in person and would like to access the live stream of these programs on your own device, please check back here soon to register. If you are not attending in person but would like to access these programs virtually, please contact registration@suusi.org.

If you are in-person and using the live stream on a personal device for the closed captioning or
other reason, please remember to MUTE your sound so as not to disturb those around you.

Finding Your Tribe

Stay tuned for details about a meet and greet for our participants with accessibility and sensory needs. Whether you have questions, concerns, or answers to share, meet other SUUSI participants with similar life experiences. We will have some crafts and puzzles available to start things off easy.

Families are welcome and encouraged!

Moving at Your Own Pace

Appreciating the liveliness of those around you but need to move at your own speed?

Housing and Programming Spaces

As a modern university campus, Western Carolina University provides us with buildings, walkways, and rooms that are accessiblefor those who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. We try to ensure that SUUSI activities are held in accessible spaces if at all possible.

The number of ADA-compliant accessible dorm rooms is limited, so please be sure to note your specific needs for such a room when you register. We will do our best to assign you to a room that meets your needs. Because SUUSI uses buildings spread out over the campus, additional accessibility needs may arise during the week.

Star Cars

SUUSI provides limited on-campus transportation via our Star Cars (golf carts), and we work hard to accommodate people with physical challenges. 

We encourage people who need them to book Star Car rides in advance—at registration or at the SUUSI office throughout the week. Additionally, a campus map with the locations of wheelchair-accessible entrances will be in your pre-registration materials. 

Unfortunately, Western Carolina University does not allow Star Cars to drive on sidewalks; Star Cars can only travel on street roads. SUUSI recommends those who may find this restriction limiting of their mobility to investigate bringing mobility scooters which are allowed to travel on sidewalks (see below for rental information). 

Nature Programs

New to the Nature program this year are two ADA-accessible discovery/hiking trips on the Jackson County Greenway and the Little Tennessee River Greenway. You can see their descriptions and register on the hiking page; they are listed as trip numbers 600 and 601.

Scooter Rental

Mobility Scooters may be rented by MobileLife of Arden, NC: https://wncmobilelife.com/mobility-scooter-rentals/

Contact them at dme@mobilelifemedical.com or call (828) 676-2760 to arrange for scooter rental.

Scooter rental normally costs $400 for a week but the company is offering a special rate for SUUSI! Western Carolina is outside of their delivery radius but flexible pick up options are available.

Here is the info from the company:

"Customers may reserve scooter rentals and pick up and return at our location at 73 Airport Rd, Arden, NC 28704 (I-26 Exit 40 - AVL Airport Exit). They may pick up the scooters on the Thursday or Friday prior to the event and return them the following Monday (if needed). We also have a process to pick up and return scooter rentals on the weekends and after business hours. Also, I can reduce the weekly rental rate for event goers down to $200.00 (plus tax) for customers that pick up and return."

For additional info, check the Mobile Life web site at https://wncmobilelife.com/mobility-scooter-rentals/ or contact the SUUSI Accessibility team at access@SUUSI.org.

On-campus Assistance

Upon request. an Accessibility Buddy would love to help you carry a tray in the dining hall, help you carry items on campus, or other small requests. 

This program is a new addition to SUUSI and will be available on a first come first serve basis, so please get your requests in early. Requests for assistance may be made at access@SUUSI.org.