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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Natural and Applied Sciences Archives: Accessibility, Disability & Rehabilitation

These topic guides provide a starting point for finding source materials related to the history of science and technology at the University of Illinois. Please note that these guides are not definitive or comprehensive and are periodically updated.
Black-and-white photograph of patrons using the library, circa 1967

Patrons using the library, ca. 1967

About DRES

The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) was founded in 1948 as the nation's first comprehensive program and set of services for students with disabilities. Originally named Rehabilitation Education Services, the program began at the University of Illinois Galesburg campus and moved to the Urbana-Champaign campus when Galesburg closed in 1949. The name was changed in 1962. The University Archives holds institutional records, organization and event subject files, and the papers of Timothy J. Nugent, DRES founder and director (1948-1985).

DRES Archival Holdings

College and Departmental/Division Archives

Faculty and Staff Papers 

  • Timothy J. Nugent Papers (Record Series 16/6/20): Includes biographical records, correspondence, reports, lectures, photographs, slides, film, and other materials relating to Nugent's early life and education; research concerning architectural barriers, accessibility standards, transportation, and recreation; involvement in the administration and activities of DRES, Delta Sigma Omicron, para-athletics associations, American National Standards Institute, and other committees, foundations, and associations; and coaching and organization of para-athletics sporting events.
  • Leon Dash Papers (Record Series 13/3/23): Box 31 includes oral history interviews conducted with Tim Nugent and others concerning the history of the DRES program on campus. Digitally accessible records are also available.

Alumni Papers and Student Organization Records

Publications and Reference Files

  • DRES Subject File (Digital Surrogates): Includes select digitized materials concerning facility and equipment requirements, accessibility modifications to campus buildings, the physical rehabilitation program, special services' evolution from war veteran exclusive to non-veteran students with disabilities, program replication in other domestic and foreign universities, and the bus adaptation program. Physical records are located in Record Series 16/6/1.
  • National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Newsletters (Digital Surrogates): Digitized copies of NWBA's periodic newsletter concerning sporting events, tournament results, staff designation, bylaws, and fundraising activities. Physical records are located in Record Series 16/6/3.
  • Gizz Kids/Ms Kids Wheelchair Basketball Teams File: Digitized correspondence, newspaper clippings, programs, press releases, programs, and rosters concerning team history, activities, and achievements; wheelchair sports rules; and accessibility issues at UIUC and other sporting event host venues. Physical records are located in Record Series 16/6/5.
  • Accessibility Standards Subject File (Digital Surrogates): Digitized records of the National Program to Eliminate and Prevent Architectural Barriers to the Handicapped and the American Standards Association Steering and Sectional Committees concerning trends and development in equipment and devices for people with disabilities and American Standards Association history. Physical records are located in Record Series 16/6/17.
  • "Expanding Horizons," the History of DRES (Digital Surrogate): Digitized copy of the commemorative publication Expanding Horizons: A History of the First 50 Years of the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services at the University of Illinois. The physical record is located in Record Series 16/6/803.

Illinois Distributed Museum

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University Archives
Room 146 Library
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Telephone: (217) 333-0798
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