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Disability Studies

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What is Disability Studies?

Disability Studies is a multidisciplinary field drawing from humanities, liberal arts and the sciences, and is taught by faculty from multiple fields and disciplines. It teaches about disability as diversity, disability culture, and disabled people as valuable members of society. The program emphasizes universal access for all diverse groups, minority and majority, as a means to create and sustain inclusive societies.


Disability Studies Education Options

Disability Studies offers a 15 credit Certificate and a 20-25 credit Minor at the Undergraduate level with courses that meet the university diversity and capstone requirements. Disability Studies is also an option for students pursuing an interdisciplinary studies major.

The 15-25 credit Certificate options offered at the Graduate level complements students' educational endeavors in multiple health, human services, STEM and other fields.

The entire Disability Studies program is available in traditional or online formats or a mixture of both.

15 credit Certificate courses

DSST 310 Disability, Culture and Society (5) 
DSST 410 Disability as Diversity (5) 
DSST 490 Senior Capstone/Universal Access: Project in Universal Access (

20-25 credit Minor at Undergraduate level: 

DSST 310 Disability, Culture and Society (5) 
DSST 410 Disability as Diversity (5) 
DSST 490 Senior Capstone/Universal Access: Project in Universal Access (5) 

Plus at least one of the following two courses: 

DSST 420: Human Diversity and Human Rights (5) and/or 
DSST 430: Disability: Critical Perspectives from the Liberal Arts and Humanities (5)  

How Will I Benefit from Taking Disability Studies Courses?

Disability studies allows the students to learn about disabled people being a part of the community, as consumers, and as contributors to society. We look at the social model which emphasizes "universal access," the philosophy that society should be inclusive of people of all diverse backgrounds and traits, and that the responsibility for diversity transcends traditional identity-based characteristics. Primary principles guiding the Disability Studies program include:

1. Diversity and Intersectionality: Disability/ non-disability is just one of many characteristic along with others such as gender and gender identity, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and spirituality. Disability Studies explores how disability and other diverse identities give meaning to life.

2. Critical Diversity Theory: Social constructions, including laws and policies create contexts through with people and groups are advantaged and disadvantaged. Disability Studies explores societal attitudes and social policies that contribute to the people's and groups' status ranging from privilege to discrimination and oppression.

3. Universal access (UA) embraces an approach that responsible societies do not just accommodate minorities, but are constructed for all people, both majority and minority, typical and atypical.

What are the degree options?

Disability Studies is a multidisciplinary field drawing from humanities, liberal arts and the sciences, and is taught by faculty from multiple fields and disciplines. A Disability Studies minor and certificate are offered at the undergraduate levels with multiple certificate options at the graduate level. The program educates students about disability, disability culture and people with disabilities as inclusive members of society. The program's emphases on universal access, diversity, and critical thinking complement the university's mission to prepare its graduates to live and work in a diverse society.

What can I do with my degree?

The Disability Studies allos its students to view the world through a different lens. It emphasizes "universal access," the philosophy that society should be inclusive of people of all diverse backgrounds and traits, and that the responsibility for diversity transcends traditional identity-based characteristics. Universal access (UA) embraces an approach that responsible societies do not just accommodate minorities, but are constructed for people of all; both majority and minority, typical and atypical. Many graduates find that employers value their knowledge and skills relative to disability and diversity.

Some common degrees we see our students pursuing include:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Social Work
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Recreational Therapy 


 

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