Davis, Kirk Introduce Gold Medal Resolution Honoring Timothy Nugent “Father of Accessibility” on 25th Anniversary of ADA
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today introduced the Timothy Nugent Congressional Gold Medal Act honoring Tim Nugent an innovator and relentless advocate for individuals with disabilities. Nugent has led the way in helping individuals with disabilities have greater access to higher education. Nugent founded the first higher educational program for wounded and disabled soldiers after WWII at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and became a pioneer in architectural accessibility – designing curb cuts and wheelchair-accessible bus routes – that provided more students with disabilities access to mainstream college campuses and society.
“This week marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act so it’s only fitting that today we honor someone who charted the course for creating a society accessible to people with disabilities,” said Davis. “Tim Nugent began his advocacy in my district at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he fought for the rights of disabled veterans and fought to make universities throughout the U.S. accessible to students with disabilities. Tim challenged the way many regarded disabled individuals and opened the doors of higher education to millions of Americans.”
“Tim Nugent has dedicated his life to bringing disabled veterans out of the dark,” Kirk said. “When I met with Tim earlier this year, he shared his story of innovation and perseverance that made the University of Illinois the accessible campus that it is today. I am proud to call Tim Nugent one of my Battle Buddies and to nominate him for the Congressional Gold Medal.”
“It is hard to think of any individual who has made a more positive impact on so much of the world that we all take for granted than Tim Nugent,” said Chancellor Phyllis Wise, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “He has spent his life and his career fighting to give a voice to those in society who so many others were willing to ignore. He didn't do it for personal gain or for public recognition. He did so because he believed it was the right thing to do. This is an honor for which he is long overdue.”