Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: Disabled Students' Program Records,
Date (inclusive): 1965
Collection Number: CU-479
University of California, Berkeley. Disabled Students' Program
10 linear feet
5 digital objects
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: The Disabled Students' Program Records, 1965-[on going], consist of materials created or collected by the leaders and administrators
of the Disabled Students' Program at the University of California, Berkeley. The collection consists of records of the administration,
services, and Susan O'Hara papers. Administrative materials include correspondence, funding information, reports, newsletters,
events, and press clippings. Services materials document the residence program, attendant service, wheelchair repair, employment
information, blind services, and deaf services. Susan O'Hara's papers contain records from her tenure as the first coordinator
for the DSP residence program and as the director of DSP.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must
be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator or the Head of Public Services for forwarding. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright.
[Identification of item], Disabled Students' Program Records, CU-479, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Related Collections and Oral Histories
Disabled Students' Program photograph collection [graphic]. UARCH PIC 1994.047--PIC. The Bancroft Library, University of California,
Susan O'Hara, "Director of the UC Berkeley Disabled Students' Program, 1988-1992, Coordinator of the Residence Program, 1975-1988,
and Community Historian," an oral history conducted in 1997 by David Landes, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library,
University of California, Berkeley, 2000.
BANC MSS 2001/36 c
Zona Roberts, "Counselor for Physically Disabled Students' Program, Mother to Ed Roberts," an oral history conducted in 1994-1995
by Susan O'Hara, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2000.
BANC MSS 2001/38 c
University of California's Cowell Hospital Residence Program for Physically Disabled Students, 1962-1975: Catalyst for Berkeley's
Independent Living Movement, an oral history conducted in 1994, 1996, and 1998-1999, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft
Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2000. BANC MSS 2001/43 c
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
O'Hara, Susan, 1938---Archives.
California. Dept. of Rehabilitation.
University of California, Berkeley. Disabled Students' Program--Archives.
People with disabilities--Education (Higher)--United States.
People with disabilities--Services for--California.
College students with disabilities--California--Berkeley.
Barrier-free design for students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities--Transportation.
O'Hara, Susan, 1938-
Online Archive of California.
Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement collection.
The Disabled Students' Program Records were transferred to the University Archives in increments beginning in 1993.
||The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Student Health Services Program is set up for the physically disabled at the University
of California, Berkeley.
||Edward V. Roberts, the first student with a severe mobility impairment to live on campus moves into Cowell Memorial Hospital
and begins his studies.
||Following Roberts's successful first year, the University admits John Hessler, the second student with a severe mobility impairment
to live at Cowell Hospital.
||Seven severely physically disabled students are living in Cowell Hospital as of October.
||Carl J. Ross, Cowell Hospital administrator, proposes a program to serve ten to twelve disabled students.
||The Cowell Residence Program is funded by the California Dept. of Rehabilitation (DR).
||Roberts becomes a part-time assistant on disability to the Dean of Students.
||Conflicts with the DR staff become the impetus for the organization of a student self- advocacy group for those living in
Cowell Hospital, named the Rolling Quads.
||The Rolling Quads write a proposal for a grant from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) for the fiscal
year 1970-1971, to fund a physically disabled Students' program.
||Students who lived at Cowell begin to move into their own apartments off campus. The Rolling Quads propose a community halfway
house residence program for students attending UC Berkeley. [The "halfway house" was never established.]
||In the spring quarter, the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) at Berkeley vote to supplement HEW funding
for a program for students with disabilities, with a fee of 25 cents to be paid by every student at UC Berkeley for each academic
quarter, as part of registration. The money is made available in June 1970.
||HEW grants $81,000 to start the Physically Disabled Students' Program (PDSP) in July. Hessler, Michael Fuss, Chuck Grimes,
and Zona Roberts (Ed Roberts' mother) set up the first office in an apartment at 2532 Durant Avenue in Berkeley.
||John Hessler is the first director. Initially, PDSP serves 17 clients.
||The Center for Independent Living (CIL) is incorporated off campus. CIL is a Berkeley community service agency for persons
with disabilities, modeled on PDSP.
||The Disabled Students' Union is formed.
||A job development specialist position is proposed for disabled students and alumni.
||The Coordinating Committee for the Removal of Architectural Barriers (CCRAB) is established to resolve access problems on
the UC Berkeley campus.
||A dormitory residence pilot program is set up for students with disabilities. Initially it has 5 rooms in Putnam Hall in the
Unit One of the student dormitory complex.
||Susan O'Hara begins as head of the PDSP Residence Program (serves until 1988). The residence pilot program is successful.
The permanent PDSP Residence Program consists of 16 rooms in the Unit Two dorm complex staffed 24 hours a day by paid attendants.
The Cowell Hospital Residence Program is closed.
||California Governor Jerry Brown appoints Ed Roberts Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation. John Hessler
leaves the directorship of PDSP to become Deputy Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation. Don Lorence assumes
the directorship of PDSP.
||DR funds a Job Placement Specialist at the University Career Planning Office. Betty Bacon is the first specialist.
||Zona Roberts resigns from DSP.
||PDSP establishes Deaf Services.
||After a program audit of DSP led by UC Berkeley professor William K. (Sandy) Muir, the University establishes the Chancellor's
Physically Disabled Students' Program Advisory Board, which consists of the combination of the old Residence Hall Advisory
Board and the Disabled Students Advisory Board.
||Don Lorence leaves the directorship of PDSP. Sharon Bonney is hired as the new director.
||PDSP moves to 2515 Channing Way. It now serves 254 students.
||PDSP changes its name to the Disabled Students' Program (DSP) to include students with learning disabilities.
||Sharon Bonney leaves the directorship of DSP.
||A twenty-fifth anniversary survey shows 157 former residents of the program have an average salary of $32,224 in a variety
of career fields.
||Susan O'Hara, the Residence Program director, becomes director of DSP. Bill Blanchard takes over as Residence Program director.
||Stephen Hawking, world renowned physicist with Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; ALS), visits the UC Berkeley
campus. DSP hosts a barbeque in his honor.
||DSP moves from Channing Way to the Cesar Chavez Student Center on campus.
||Thirty years after Ed Roberts moves into Cowell Memorial Hospital, DSP serves 800 disabled students at UC Berkeley.
||Susan O'Hara retires as director. Lynn Bailiff becomes the director.
||Lynn Bailiff retires. Ed Rodgers is hired as the new director.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Disabled Students' Program Records, 1965-[on-going], consist of materials created or collected by the leaders and administrators
of the Disabled Students' Program (DSP) at the University of California, Berkeley. The collection consists of records of the
administration, services, and Susan O'Hara papers. Administrative materials include correspondence, funding information, reports,
newsletters, events, and press clippings. Services materials document the residence program, attendant service, wheelchair
repair, employment information, blind services, and deaf services. Susan O'Hara's papers contain records from her tenure as
the first coordinator for the DSP residence program and as the director of DSP.
DSP began with the activism of a group of disabled students known as the Rolling Quads, who together with the UC administration
created the first comprehensive service group for disabled students. The collection documents DSP's development from a few
severely disabled students in the late-1960's to a large organization serving hundreds of students with a variety of disabilities
today. The program helps disabled students transition from home to independent living, incorporating services and peer counseling
with academics. DSP's innovative blend of advocacy and services became a model for other student and community self-help programs
around the world.
The bulk of the material documents DSP administration and the services offered to disabled students. The administration records
contain background information, correspondence, and grant proposals to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare
(HEW) which later became the Office of Education, the California Dept. of Rehabilitation, and University of California (UC).
These records chart the development of DSP from a grassroots organization to a full-fledged UC student program. The UC grant
and budget records include Associated Students funding and applications for individual one-time DSP grants to students. Also
of interest are the staff and advisory board meeting agendas, reports on disability rights, legislation, accessibility compliance,
and conferences, newsletters, brochures, guides, event information, DSP's office facilities renovations, and press clippings
showing DSP's use of media coverage.
Information on DSP services includes material on the residence program, first housed in Cowell hospital, later in accessible
dormitories. The residence program, along with the attendant referral service, exemplifies the tenets of the movement for
independent living. DSP services acted as the impetus for the Center for Independent Living (CIL), which expanded similar
services into the Berkeley community. CIL became a national model for a community-based organization for people with disabilities,
directed by people with disabilities. DSP records document the wheelchair repair shop, University and public transportation,
job development programs, deaf services, blind services, and University library services, showing DSP's efforts to aid students
Susan O'Hara's papers document her tenure as coordinator for the residence program (1975-1988) and as director of DSP (1988-1992).
The notes, calendars, and documentation on the oral history project show O'Hara's dedication to the program, and the individual
files she created on DSP staff and alumni include information on many disability rights leaders.
The early records of the DSP organization shed light on its origin and growth, while information on the residence program
is valuable as an example of the principles of the independent living movement. Alumni became active in the disability rights
and independent living movements after their experiences with DSP, helping to found CIL. The DSP records trace the transformation
of a grass-roots movement to a UC agency, and indicate the growth of its influence in the founding of CIL and similar organizations.