University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Disability Firsts

1948 First post-secondary institution to provide a support service program enabling students with disabilities to attend.

1948 First post-secondary institution to offer competitive adapted sports for students with disabilities.

1948 First post-secondary institution to form a disability service fraternity, Delta Sigma Omicron.

1949 Organized the National Wheelchair Basketball Association and held the first national wheelchair basketball association tournament.

1950 First post-secondary institution to introduce curb cuts specifically to accommodate students with disabilities.

1954 Offered the first fixed-route buses that were designed and equipped with wheelchair lifts.

1959 First post-secondary institution to create a transitional living program for students with severe locomotor disabilities needing assistance in the performance of daily living activities.

1961 Developed the architectural accessibility standards (American Standards Association A117.1) that later became the American National Standards Institute's standards for architectural accessibility.

1962 First post-secondary institution to organize national and international tours for persons with disabilities, host workshops, and provide demonstrations dispelling the negative, stereotypical attitudes and beliefs about persons with disabilities. The first tour was to South Africa.

1965 First study-abroad program for university students with disabilities(Aix-en-Provence, France).

1977 First to offer varsity letter awards to student athletes with disabilities. The first recipient was Gunnar Aarlind of Sweden.

1980 First to select a wheelchair athlete as its "Athlete of the Year."

1995 Frist to offer a wheelchair sports web page.

1999 First to offer comprehensive supports for students with Autism/Asperger's.

2000 Established the U.S. Social Security's Administration first national disability research institute.