Beckwith Residential Support Services
Beckwith Residential Support Services on the first floor of Nugent Hall is a cooperative venture between the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) and University Housing. This community provides learning experiences both through formal courses and informal interactions between those with and without disabilities.
Features in this community include:
Students living in the new facility will use Ikenberry Dining Hall, which is connected to Nugent Hall. This arrangement further integrates Beckwith students with the larger University of Illinois student community. The partnership with University Housing allows DRES to continue in its mission of providing the best programs and services in the country to college students with physical disabilities, and to be the leader in evidence-based practice and translational research that leads to improved services for students with disabilities at all universities.
The TDMP is a formal educational program designed to improve the disability management knowledge and skills of Beckwith-supported residents. Good disability management results in students achieving their highest level of independence in every aspect of their lives. It involves residents taking responsibility for themselves and acquiring the knowledge to find the resources they need and to make good life choices. Good disability management skills build student confidence necessary to successfully make the transition to the lives they envision beyond college.
During each year of their stay in the Beckwith-supported community, residents are given the opportunity to participate in the program. Students work with the disability specialist, one-on-one, to determine the areas they would like to work on to increase their skills. The student and the disability specialist together define individual goals for each of the following target areas:
Beckwith Residential Support Services provides personal assistant (PA) services for students with disabilities as required to accommodate their performance of activities of daily living. These include, but are not limited to, assisting with showering, dressing, bowel and bladder care, and transfers. Students have access to up to five hours/day of PA services, based on their needs.
Beckwith Residential Support Services recruits persons to provide PA services, performs University approved security screening of all PA applicants, hires PA staff with the recommendation of individual student residents, and trains individuals to provide PA services.
PA screening, in keeping with the recommended procedures of the University of Illinois Risk Management Office, is performed in cooperation with the Illinois State police and includes personal and employment reference checks.
Students residing in the Beckwith-supported community must also provide training for their PA staff regarding their specific care needs. Ongoing PA training from each student is critical to the delivery of safe and effective PA support services.
Students learn the skills to effectively supervise and evaluate their PA staff, reinforce proper technique, train new staff, as well as recruit staff independently.
The personal assistants are hired to fill two distinctive roles– they can work in more than one position if desired:
A computer station with internet access and scanner is available in a quiet area near the Nugent Hall mini-desk. This computer station, located in a private area, has Kurzweil 3000 and Dragon Naturally Speaking installed along with internet access and a scanner.
Residents may dine in Ikenberry Dining Hall, which is connected to Nugent Hall, or any University Housing dining facility.
University Housing provides laundry services and room cleaning to those students with disabilities requiring this service. One laundry day is assigned per resident with a disability per week in which the room is thoroughly cleaned and linens/clothes washed and returned to the resident. On a daily basis, bathrooms are sanitized, students' beds are made, and room trash is removed.
Floors in students' rooms are swept and mopped daily. Maintenance needs are addressed in a timely fashion.
A three-fold approach toward mentoring is available to Beckwith-supported residents in the Transitional Disability Management Plan. First, Beckwith-supported residents mentor high school students, some returning residents mentor incoming students, and finally, alumni mentor current residents. All mentoring goals are focused on minimizing the stressors associated with the upcoming transition that the student is about to embark upon, as well as provide leadership opportunities to those participating.
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