Beckwith Residential Support Services at Nugent Hall

Beckwith Residential Support Services is located in Nugent Hall on the first floor.

Admission Criteria

Criteria for admission and application procedures for Beckwith Residential Support Services can be found under Prospective Student Resources.

Nugent Hall first floor features

There are twenty-six single room suites (two single bedrooms with a shared bath). 

A description of room dimensions and amenities may be found at University Housing.

Room Features 

  • Student’s identification cards are able to open and close their room door without using a key or swiping their card. Each room also has ADA vertical operators that can open the bathroom and room door from the inside. 
  • SureHands® ceiling lift system extends from over the resident’s bed to the bathroom, with a few options of body support systems to use with it. 
  • Adjustable furniture (desk, night stand, and a hospital bed in each room.) 
  • A sink with a motion detector faucet, cup faucet, and mirrored medicine cabinet, along with a sink in the shared bathroom. 
  • Wireless paging system for notifying staff that assistance is needed. 
  • Push-button room-darkening blinds. 
  • Individual thermostat controls. 
  • In-room wireless Internet and cable TV access. 

BRSS Program Spaces 

An adaptive computer lab with accessible software and hardware installed. One computer station is self-contained with voice-to-text software. 

An instructional kitchen with integrated AV equipment and adaptive cooking equipment is used as a meeting room for social programs and teaching basic cooking skills. 

Housing Support Services 

Laundry and housekeeping services are provided to BRSS residents. Laundry is done weekly. Non-routine laundry is completed as needed. Daily housekeeping includes making the bed, cleaning the floor and shared bathroom, and emptying garbage. 

Detailed information can be found in the Beckwith Residential Support Services Program Brochure (pdf).

Life Activities Management Program (LAMP)

Beckwith Residential Support Services (“Beckwith”) is a transitional program. This means that individuals enrolled in our program are committed to learning the life management skills necessary to live interdependently (meaning independently with the help of others when needed, such as help from your Personal Assistant with your Activities of Daily Living) while in college and beyond! However, it is understood that students within the program need some help: Identifying needs, determining their goals, finding resources, putting these resources to use, and learning how to transfer knowledge and skills to new environments and situations. The Life Activity Management Program is designed to help students within the Beckwith program do just that!

 The Life Activity Management Program is individualized to each resident within the Beckwith program. Each resident will work with The Disability Advisor (and other members of the Beckwith community and administrative team as needed) to develop goals to work towards each semester. These goals will be determined collaboratively and will focus on where each student is within their independent living journey. Goals will be determined at the beginning of each semester. Target dates for reevaluation are agreed upon. Students will not be evaluated on whether goals have been reached, but rather if they are actively working towards achieving them (including asking for help or reevaluating strategies when needed).

As goals and needs are evaluated on an individualized basis, students will meet with Beckwith administration at least biweekly (returning students) or weekly (new students) unless otherwise discussed and agreed upon.) to work towards their LAMP goals.

 As the LAMP is a crucial part of the Beckwith program, and planning for students’ futures, active engagement in the LAMP process is required. “Active engagement “includes but is not limited to:

  • Scheduling and attending agreed upon meetings
  • Remaining attentive during meetings
  • Coming to meetings prepared/working independently outside of meetings
  • Showing respect for oneself, community members, and Beckwith admin while engaged in the LAMP process

*Please Note: Beckwith administration may be in communication with Vocational Rehab regarding a student’s engagement in the LAMP process. If a student does not remain actively engaged, funding for the program may be impacted for future semesters.

** Please Note: if students are not actively engaged in the LAMP process, there is no guarantee that they will receive a room within the Beckwith program space for the upcoming academic year.

 Example target areas that can be focused on during the LAMP. These are starting points, as each goal will be personalized to the needs and interest of each student enrolled in the Beckwith program.

  • Personal Assistant scheduling and management
  • Time Management and Organization
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Effective communication with family, friends, Personal Assistants, and peers
  • Career exploration and readiness
  • Locating community resources while on campus and beyond
  • Increasing knowledge of disability laws
  • Navigating disability benefits
  • Locating feasible housing options outside of the Beckwith program space
  • Coordinating accessible travel
  • Getting involved in the campus and local community

Prospective Student Resources

So, you are thinking about Illinois for your college career and Beckwith Residential Support Services and Nugent Hall for your living accommodations. This section has two main areas that are important for you to review. Do you want to meet current Illinois students with severe disabilities who are achieving their academic goals? Then become part of the Beckwith High School Mentoring Program which is described below.

Are you wondering how to set up an appointment to meet staff for a tour, get your questions answered, or how to go about applying to the University of Illinois?  If so, the section entitled Exploring the University of Illinois and Beckwith Residential Support Services will provide you with important information to get started.  Of course, if you have further questions you can email them.

Exploring the University of Illinois and Beckwith Residential Support Services

Beckwith Residential Support Services (BRSS) at Nugent Hall is the BEST place for you to live and learn on the University of Illinois campus if you are a student with a severe physical disability and need assistance with activities of daily living.  However the number of rooms is limited.  Rooms on the first floor of Nugent Hall are given to incoming residents on a first come first serve basis.

How can you have the best opportunity to get a room on the first floor of Nugent Hall and receive BRSS?

  • Come for a day long campus visit as early in your high school career as possible, planning to do the following:
    • Take a campus tour.  These can be arranged through the Admissions Office.
    • Call to set up an appointment to meet with a Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) academic resource facilitator to discuss the type of academic accommodations you might need at Illinois.  You will be directed to the best person to meet with by calling the main DRES number at (217) 333-1970 and asking for assistance.
    • Contact the Beckwith Visiting Disability Advisor, Katy Hoyer at (217) 333-0075 or to set up a time to meet with the Beckwith administrative staff, tour Nugent and learn about the variety of support programs and services available.
  • If you decide that Illinois is where you want to pursue your college dream it is recommended that you apply during the Priority Filing Period between September 1 and November 1 if you are applying as a freshman. Transfer students need to get their application materials completed as soon as all University requirements are met.
  • While you are waiting for the University’s admission decision, complete the DRES application to be a registered DRES student and gather all necessary medical documentation.
  • On the day that you receive your acceptance email from the University, immediately fax the DRES application and supporting documentation to DRES—Attention: Student Services at (217) 244-0014.
  • Email the Beckwith staff you have met sharing your good news and that your documentation has been submitted to DRES.

Open spaces for the BRSS are based on the number of residents who graduate and/or move to other living environments in any given year.  There could be as few as 1 or 2 spaces or as many as 8 open spaces.  New residents are assigned open rooms or put on the waiting list based upon when they have completed the BRSS application process.

  • Maintain contact with the DRES/Beckwith staff after your on campus visit to let us know of your interest, change in plans and answer any questions you might have about preparing for college during your high school year.

Criteria for Admission to Beckwith Residential Support Services (BRSS)

  • Accepted to either the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, or Parkland Pathway Program (Illinois residents only).
  • A student with a physical disability receiving assistance with at least one activity of daily living.
  • Receive confirmation that you are registered with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES).
  • On a scheduled toileting program with minimal incontinence.
  • Submission of all application requirements (listed below), successful interview and appropriate space availability (gender specific).

Application Procedures

Complete and submit each part of the application as outlined below. For an application to be considered complete, all supporting documents must be received prior to an invitation for an interview to be scheduled.

Upon review, applicants may be invited to complete an interview with the BRSS professional staff. After the interview has been completed, acceptance to BRSS program will be announced within one week of the interview, but not before February 15th. The decision will be based upon reviewing all of the application materials compared to the other candidates, and availability of rooms (gender specific).

Please note that the applicant must have been accepted to either the University of Illinois, U-C or the Parkland Pathway Program to be considered for acceptance into BRSS.

Complete and submit the following BRSS Application materials:

Please provide a letter of reference written by someone close to the applicant (e.g., school counselor, special education teacher, case manager, job supervisor, therapist…).

The letter can be submitted to Katy Hoyer, Visiting Disability Advisor, by email, fax or mail at: (email) (217/244-2116 (fax) 1104 Nugent Hall  207 E. Gregory Dr. Champaign, IL 61820. 

Instructions for Professional Reference Letter:

Please include your name, contact information, and position submitted on official letterhead.

Provide a clear, accurate, and honest assessment of the following:

  • Applicant’s ability to transition and be actively engaged in a university residential community
  • Maintaining their oversight of their disability management.
  • Remark on their overall potential for college success and the areas they may need to continue to focus on

Lastly, we would appreciate any information on the applicant’s:

  • Social interaction skills
  • Strategies for problem-solving
  • Mindset towards change/transition/overcoming adversity
  • Any reservations that you may have that may impact their success 

Contact Katy Hoyer at (217) 333-0075 or with any questions or clarification.

Beckwith Residential Support Services Professional Staff

Susann Sears

Director, Beckwith Residential Support Services

Paige Lindahl-Lewis

Associate Director and Disability Specialist

Jason Murphy

Coordinator of Staffing and Education

Katy Hoyer

Disability Advisor

High School Mentoring Program

You are starting to plan ahead for college—good for you!  The sooner in high school that you plan for what you want to do after you graduate the better.  We have created a comprehensive resource for you to utilize as early as middle school, with the information and the work you must do becoming more in depth as you progress through high school.

As you prepare for the next step . . . college, here are some resources that might make this transition easier and tie in with the HS Transition Guideline.  The HS Mentoring program has four distinct modules for you to use. It will be best for you to review them in the “Slide Show” format:

  1. General overview of the HS Mentoring program—best to review this module first.
  2. Decision-making module—an introduction to problem-solving skills.
  3. PA module—focuses on strategies of hiring, training and managing staff.

Over the years, we have met with many students and families at various stages of their transition to college.  During this time we’ve taken stock of the similarities and differences and tried to develop some resources that are general enough to be helpful regardless of where the student attends college.  If you reference these resources along with the HS Transition Guideline, hopefully this journey will be more guided.  We’ve even developed a presentation specifically for your Guidance Counselor and IEP team.  Encourage them to view Promoting Transitional Success in Post-Secondary Education.

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