Beckwith Residential Community

Welcome to Beckwith!
Beckwith Residential Community is located on the first floor of Nugent Hall and is a cooperative venture between the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES). This community is dedicated to accommodating students with severe physical disabilities and to help you transition to independent living.

Features include:

  • All resident rooms located on the first floor.
  • Classroom/kitchen space completely accessible so that students may use it to learn community living skills necessary for living outside of the Beckwith-supported community.
  • Accessible features such as keyless entry into rooms, adjustable hospital beds, SureHands lift system, etc.
  • A student lounge, voice-activated computer station, laundry facilities and other features that had previously existed at Beckwith Hall.

Students living in Beckwith use Ikenberry Dining Hall, which is connected to Nugent Hall. This arrangement further integrates you with the larger Illinois student community. Our partnership 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.

Transitional Disability Management Plan (TDMP)

The TDMP is a formal educational program designed to improve the disability management knowledge and skills of Beckwith 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 the student confidence necessary to successfully make the transition to the lives they envision beyond college.

During each year of their stay in the Beckwith Residential Community, residents are given the opportunity to participate in the program. Students work one-on-one with the disability specialist to determine the areas they would like to work on to increase their skills. Together, the student and the disability specialist define individual goals for each of the following target areas:

  • Improved knowledge of disability laws and disability resources.
  • Improved skill in advocating for access and reasonable accommodation.
  • Improved physical and/or functional capacity.
  • Improved social integration.
  • Maximal independence in the performance of activities of daily living.
  • Acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary to allow the student to benefit maximally from the use of available assistive technology.
  • Acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary for independent personal attendant management.
  • Successful transition to internships and/or permanent employment upon graduation.
  • Accessible living.

Personal Assistant Program

The Beckwith Residential Community provides in-house personal assistant (PA) services for students with disabilities as required to accommodate their performance of activities of daily living. Services can include assistance with showering, dressing, bowel and bladder care and transfers. Based on their needs, students have access to up to five hours per day of PA services. Residents who need assistance being fed meals are provided additional assistance of two hours per day.

The program recruits people 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.

The personal assistants are hired to fill two distinctive roles– they can work in more than one position if

  • Individual Personal Assistant: A person assists a resident with a disability on an individual basis. Schedules are based upon mutual agreement with each student that they work for.
  • Floater/Night Clerk: A person available on call to assist all residents in the residence hall with brief tasks. Staff have a set schedule in 5 - 6 hour shifts to comprise the 24/7 schedule.

If additional assistance is needed outside of the residence hall, residents are encouraged to locate and
finance this assistance independently of the Beckwith PAs.

Resident Rooms

There are 26 single room suites (two single bedrooms with a shared bath). Each bedroom includes:

  • A medical bed with side rails (detachable), a wardrobe (no closet), bookcase, nightstand and desk. This furniture is all adjustable height.
  • A proximity reader allowing residents to open and close their room door. Each room also has ADA vertical auto operators to open bathroom and room doors.
  • A SureHands ceiling lift system that extends from over the resident’s bed to the bathroom.
  • A sink with motion detector and cup faucets.
  • Wireless paging system for notifying staff.


Adapted Computer Station

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.

Dining Hall

The Ikenberry Dining Hall is conveniently connected to Nugent Hall; students may also dine at any of our other dining facilities.


We provide laundry services and room cleaning to students with disabilities requiring this service. One laundry day is assigned per resident per week in which the room is thoroughly cleaned and linens/clothes are 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.


Mentoring programs provide support to residents at different transitional periods of their university life. There are four programs available: new students, alumni mentoring, high school mentoring and parent mentoring.


beckwith residents posing with their personal aids for a group photo outside nugent hall