Tim Nugent’s Impact Endures
On March 10, 2010 the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a proposal to name a newly-constructed residence hall in honor of Timothy J. Nugent. The hall, to be named Timothy J. Nugent Hall, will house students with disabilities and provide full accessibility beyond Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
More about Tim Nugent’s Contributions
Founded in 1948 by Dr. Tim Nugent, the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) was the first post secondary disability support service program in the world. DRES began as a result of Dr. Nugent’s belief that veterans injured in WWII should nevertheless be able to take advantage of the GI bill and attend college. But their success was contingent upon removal of physical barriers that prevented entrance into buildings. To that end, Dr. Nugent built ramps in his garage and proved that these students, if given an opportunity to have access to classrooms, could succeed academically. Some of the many firsts the disability support service program is credited with includes:
- the first post-secondary institution to introduce curb cuts,
- the first fixed-route buses designed with wheelchair lifts,
- the founding of wheelchair sports,
- the development of architectural accessibility standards that were later adopted nationally.
Today, because of Dr. Tim Nugent’s contributions, the University of Illinois continues to be recognized as a national leader in disability.