Minor in Disability Studies
The interdisciplinary field of disability studies explores the experiences of people with disabilities—one of the largest minorities in the United States and worldwide—as well as the ways in which conceptions and representations of disability and “the normal” have shaped human experiences more generally. Treating disability as a crucial element of human diversity, the Minor in Disability Studies approaches disability as a social, cultural, and political construct rather than just a medical condition (as it is commonly viewed). Taught by faculty from the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Education and Health Professions, Architecture, Business, and Social Work, this flexible and multidisciplinary minor prepares students for a variety of graduate programs and for careers in law, education, public health, nursing, architecture, urban planning, and social work.
Students seeking to minor in Disability Studies should first consult with advisors in their major departments or programs for approval, then meet with the Director of the Minor in Disability Studies. A minor in Disability Studies consists of 18 hours, including two required courses: a core course on History of Disability (DS 3307/HIST 3307) and the Disability Studies Internship (DS 4395). Students must take at least 6 hours of other courses in Group A: Disability Studies and may take up to 6 hours of approved electives (Group B). No more than 12 hours may be completed in a single discipline.
History of Disability (DS 3307/HIST 3307) should be taken as early as possible; this course introduces students to disability studies and the histories of ideas about disability, the lives of people with disabilities, and disability policy. The Disability Studies Internship (DS 4395) is a supervised internship through which students apply the academic skills they have acquired in Disability Studies courses to work in a related business, academic, or non-profit environment. Students should complete DS 4395 as one of their last courses for the minor. In rare cases and with the director’s permission, students may be allowed to substitute another course for DS 4395.
Some of the following courses change focus from term to term and may therefore not be relevant to the minor during a particular semester. Credit will only be given when the topic of the course (or a substantial portion) focuses on issues related to disability. Other relevant courses not listed below may also be used to fulfill the minor, with the approval of the Director of the Minor in Disability Studies. For that reason, it is important that students consult with the advisor for the minor before registering each semester. Students should consult the catalog and/or the appropriate department for course prerequisites.
|Required Courses (six hours)|
|HIST 3307||HISTORY OF DISABILITY||3|
|or DS 3307||HISTORY OF DISABILITY|
|DS 4395||DISABILITY STUDIES INTERNSHIP||3|
|Group A: Disability Studies (at least six hours)|
|DS 3321||TOPICS IN DISABILITY STUDIES||3|
|DS 3331||RESEARCH IN DISABILITY STUDIES||3|
|DS 3355||ALL IN: UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS||3|
|or THEA 3355||ALL IN: UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS|
|DS 4391||CONFERENCE COURSE||3|
|KINE 3304||ADAPTED PHYSICAL EXERCISE & SPORT||3|
|Group A: Disability Studies (with prior approval from the director)|
|HIST 3300||INTRODUCTION TO HISTORICAL RESEARCH||3|
|HIST 4388||SELECTED TOPICS IN HISTORY||3|
|Group B: Approved electives|
|ANTH 3369||MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY||3|
|MANA 4326||DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS||3|
|POLS 4340||FEDERAL SOCIAL POLICY||3|
|POLS 4350||HEALTH POLITICS AND POLICY||3|
|SOCI 3318||SELF AND SOCIAL IDENTITY||3|
|SOCI 3342||SOCIOLOGY OF THE HUMAN BODY||3|
|or KINE 3342||SOCIOLOGY OF THE HUMAN BODY|
|SOCI 4320||MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY||3|
|Group B: Approved electives (with prior approval from the director)|
|ANTH 3330||CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY||3|
|ECON 3301||THE ECONOMICS OF HEALTH||3|
|ENGL 3347||TOPICS IN MULTICULTURAL LITERATURES||3|
|ENGL 3368||TOPICS IN GENDER AND SEXUALITY||3|
|ENGL 4345||TOPICS IN CRITICAL THEORY||3|
|GEOG 4350||SPECIAL TOPICS IN MODERN GEOGRAPHY||3|
|HIST 3317||U.S. LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY, COLONIAL TO 1877||3|
|HIST 3318||U.S. LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY, 1877 TO PRESENT||3|
|HIST 4388||SELECTED TOPICS IN HISTORY||3|
|INTS 3320||SOCIAL JUSTICE THEORY||3|
|KINE 3307||SPORT AND SOCIETY: ISSUES AND DEBATES||3|
|LING 2371||LANGUAGE IN A MULTICULTURAL USA||3|
|PHIL 3319||BIOMEDICAL ETHICS||3|
|SOCI 3324||SOCIAL MOVEMENTS||3|
|SOCI 3336||SOCIAL INEQUALITY||3|
|SOCW 3317||HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND DIVERSE POPULATIONS||3|
|THEA 3351||ROBOTS, DIGITAL HUMANITIES, AND THEATRE||3|
DS 3307. HISTORY OF DISABILITY. 3 Hours.
Examines the history of ideas about disability, the historical lives of people with disabilities, and the history of disability policy. The growth of asylums, the rise of the eugenics movement, a historical look at freak shows, the impact of industrialization on experiences of disability, the evolution of special education, the role of ideas about disability in colonialism, the historical treatment of disabled veterans, and the development of the disability rights movement. Geographic focus will vary. Offered as HIST 3307 and DS 3307; credit will only be granted once. Prerequisites: HIST 1311 and HIST 1312.
DS 3321. TOPICS IN DISABILITY STUDIES. 3 Hours.
Special topics of interest in the field of disability studies. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.
DS 3331. RESEARCH IN DISABILITY STUDIES. 3 Hours.
Introduction to the theories and methods that disability studies scholars use to conduct research and present their findings in written and oral form. Recommended: HIST 3307 or DS 3321.
DS 3355. ALL IN: UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS. 3 Hours.
The principles of universal design as they apply to the major phases of production in the performing arts, and how they may be used to create a more accessible performance and/or production experience with disabled artists and patrons. Offered as THEA 3355 and DS 3355; may not be repeated and credit will only be granted in one department.
DS 4391. CONFERENCE COURSE. 3 Hours.
Directed independent study for the advanced undergraduate. A close examination of a chosen topic through research and/or reading; format designed by instructor and student. Course may be repeated for credit once with a change in faculty. Prerequisite: permission from the director of the Minor in Disability Studies.
DS 4395. DISABILITY STUDIES INTERNSHIP. 3 Hours.
Supervised internship in which students apply the academic skills they have acquired in Disability Studies courses by working in a related non-profit or business environment. Prerequisite: HIST 3307 or 3 hours of core disability studies courses; permission of the instructor.