UI's Tim Nugent, pioneer of accessibility, dies

UI's Tim Nugent, pioneer of accessibility, dies

URBANA — Timothy Nugent, the University of Illinois professor who helped change the world for people with disabilities, died Wednesday morning, according to the UI.

Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson announced the news at a Board of Trustees' committee meeting in Chicago.

Working first with returning veterans from World War II, Nugent founded the UI Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services in 1948, the first of its kind, and build it into a model for the rest of the world. The UI was the first university to use curb cuts for wheelchairs, the first to have fully accessible bus routes, and the first to provide adaptive sports for students with disabilities.

The UI named its fully accessible residence hall after Nugent in 2010.

"Tim kept pushing the boundaries and realizing the possibilities," Tonya Gallager, dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences, said of him recently.

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Bulldogmojo wrote on November 11, 2015 at 8:11 pm


What a great man a true inspiration for this University and everyone seeking opportunity.

mgd wrote on November 12, 2015 at 12:11 am



As a child growing up in Urbana after World War Two, I enjoyed all of the benefits of the cut curbs and other accomodations made for those who were disabled. More than once I was almost run over by whizzing wheelchairs, unimpeded. Good for them! It wasn't 'til I was a bit older that I realized that the campus was special and was dedicated to improving the lives of the disabled; soldiers and citizens. Much later my sister became disabled and I understood even more the need for the changes that Mr. Nugent had accomplished here in Urbana Champaign. When I was a child I never questioned the need for these changes. They were as things should be. It was only later, when I realized how universally needed the adaptations were, and how rare they were, that I truly appreciated Mr. Nugent's work, his legacy and the Americans with Disablilities Act.

I honor him. He helped us all. And he died on Veteran's Day.

Mary Gates DeRosier