c Accessibility – Food Pantry

Accessibility

Office of Disability Services

If you have a disability that may require some accommodation in order to participate in a Western Oregon University class or activity, please notify the Office of Disability Services at 503-838-8250 or ods@wou.edu at least 3 business days in advance. To request an interpreter or live captioning, please fill out the WOU ONLINE ACCESS: Interpreter/Transcriber/Live Captioning Request Form.

You can find the Office of Disability Services website here.

Wheelchair Accessibility

There is a parking lot directly outside the Food Pantry, which has two designated spots for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.  You can view the accessible doors and parking spots at WOU in the map here. On the map, the Food Pantry is located in the WOU Welcome Center, which is in the upper right corner below Parking Lot O.

We do not have an automatic sliding door, nor a push to open button. The door is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs with ease, and a volunteer is happy to open or prop the door. Additionally, volunteers can offer any amount of assistance with shopping, such as reaching items on high or low shelves, opening fridge and freezer doors, assembling bags, and moving bags to your car in the parking lot.

Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Access

Customers can shop for themselves at the Food Pantry, so Deaf and Hard-of-hearing customers can use the Pantry with minimal interaction with volunteers. We do require customers to fill out an anonymous checkout survey to complete their visit. Volunteers to read out the survey questions to customers while they enter the responses on our laptop. However, we have an accessible paper version of the checkout form that you can complete and return to the volunteer.

Additionally, the space in the Food Pantry is wide enough for people to sign to each other, if you choose to come with an interpreter, friend, family member, etc. To request an interpreter, please fill out the WOU ONLINE ACCESS: Interpreter/Transcriber/Live Captioning Request Form.

Blind or Visually Impaired Access

Volunteers are happy to assist in shopping as needed. This can include reading expiration dates or nutritional information, packing bags, and locating items for you. We do require customers to fill out an anonymous checkout survey to complete their visit, which can be completed as a conversation while volunteers fill in your answers. The survey does not ask for any personally identifying information.

Additionally, all important information and submission forms on our website are accessible via screen reader, or other text-to-speech services.

Dietary Restrictions and Allergies

Since we have limited control over the food we receive, we cannot guarantee that we have items that will accommodate your dietary restrictions. However, it is very common for us to receive items that can fulfill a variety of limited or restricted diets! We have frequently received items that can accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan customers! If you don’t see any of these items while you are shopping, feel free to ask a volunteer to check in the back for you!

As for allergies, any food we distribute is required to have nutritional information, including ingredients. We distribute food that comes from grocery stores but we do not cook, prepare, or package food ourselves. We are also required to discard any food that has ripped or damaged packaging, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination of allergens. However, do keep in mind that we often have foods that contain common allergens, such as peanut butter or flour, which may have been boxed or transported with other foods in the Pantry. Use your best judgement in assessing risk, and ask a volunteer any questions if you are unsure.

Inclusivity

The Food Pantry is a safe space for all genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, cultures, religions, and backgrounds. As part of their training, all Food Pantry staff and volunteers watch a civil rights video, and agree to provide all customers with respect, dignity, and equal service.