DSPS History

The DSPS, or Disabled Students Programs and Services department's roots started in 1969 when paraplegic student Greg Lopez formed the Disables of Chabot (DOC) and initiated activities that made it for a time the most active club on campus. 

Greg Lopez, President of the Disables of Chabot, abbreviated "DOC," is shown receiving honors at an Awards Recognition Night on campus. Greg Lopez, President of the Disables of Chabot, abbreviated "DOC," is shown receiving honors at
an Awards Recognition Night on campus. 


Among DOC's ambitious projects were a $5,000 fund campaign for Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, a Christmas party for a local orphanage, a rock concert for club funds while counseling disabled students at local high schools as well as at Chabot. Lopez, with Dean of Students, Dr. Arthur Larson, lobbied for legislation to extend state apportionment to disabled students at community colleges.

Originally known as the "Physically Limited Student Resources Center," the name was changed to the Disabled Student Center for the 1972-1973 academic year. First housed in what is now a storage room under the staircase in Building 2300 (the Student Center), the center moved to builidng 3100 shortly thereafter.

Known then as the "Programs and Services for Disabled Students," early adminstration was served by Assistant Dean Richard Moore and Counselor Cathy Noble. The facility provided a wide array of specialzed services and activities, including a newsletter entitled "Barriers and Bridges" to educate the campus community about disabled students and their needs. During the 1979-1980 academic year, the center served 459 students representing a wide range of disabilities. Some Center staff at the time included Chabot alum Sheryl Hanestad, a wheelchair Olympian who won 49 gold medals in state and national competition, Tanya Temporal, Miss California Chair (1978), and Ken Kennedy, a paraplegic who was first to complete (in 1970) a numerical control machine tool technoloy program which had been especially adapted for the disabled through the use of a vertical elevating wheelchair. In 1980, the Center established an award to be given to the outstanding disabled student at Chabot College each year. Called the Greg Lopez Award, it honors, following his death, the student who most pioneered  the causes of disabled students at Chabot and the community at large.

Photo outside the original PLSRC of Sheryl Hanestad, Lance Davis, and Gilbert Ribera

 Shown outside the original center entrance are
Sheryl Hanestad, Lance Davis, instructional aide, and Gilbert Ribera, Business instructor and advocate for disabled students.


In the early 1980s, Shari Jacobsen became the coordinator.

The DSRC moved to Building 200 in 1993.

By 1995, Kathleen Allen became the new coordinator, and the program really began to take off.

A great milestone was achieved when the DSPS finally moved into their own dedicated building and enjoyed the inauguaral opening of the new Disabled Student Resources Center (around 2001).  Building 2400, once the Chabot Bookstore, was converted to the DSRC.


Photo of DSRC grand opening ribbon cutting in 2000

Inaugural ribbon cutting ceremony with then Chabot President Terrance Burgess


Under the coordination of Kathleen Allen, the DSPS / DSRC grew in size and scope. Eventually she became the department's Director.

photo of DSPS staff in 2016 standing outside the DSRC

The DSRC staff (pictured around 2015). Kathleen Allen is in the middle.

"Chabot is where dreams are made."

–Kathleen Allen


In 2003, the Able-Disable Club was founded by Theresa Pedrosa, who is still a Student Assistant at Chabot and is the President of the club. 

In 2005, Allen contributed to an article by the Easy Bay Times, "College life with father," a story about a teenage daughter attending college with her father at Chabot. 

In 2012, building 2400 got an artistic upgrade with the addition of an installation called "Mandala." Part of a series created by artist Natalie Blake, the ceramic tile art takes up a large portion of the exterior walls.

building 2400 exterior wall mandala artwork by Natalie Blake

Around 2015, the center added another unique feature to its interior walls.  Black and white canvas prints of historical, motivational individuals who over the years have influenced the disability community, accompanied with a quote from that person, are hung throughout the center. This installation remains to this day.

photo of motivatonal prints in ACE of disability rights champions

Disability Rights Champions (from left to right):  John F. Kennedy, James Brady, Barbara Jordan

photo of Helen Keller

Helen Keller


painting of Louis Braille

Louis Braille


In 2018, Nathaniel Rice took over as Director and currently serves in that role. 

photo of Nathaniel Rice

Nathaniel Rice


In 2021, the name of building 2400 changed from the DSRC to "ACE" - the Accessibility Center for Education. The change reflects the move towards focusing on abilities rather than disabilities.

photo of ACE exterior front doorbuilding 2400 exterior glass display

Building 2400, ACE, exterior

Building 2400, The Accessibility Center for Education


For 2022 and beyond, along the lines of changing the building name, , "DisAbility Awareness Day" will become "Accessibility Awareness Day," and will be held in both the Fall and Spring semesters in Cesar Chavez Courtyard.