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, Nursing and Health Innovation, Business, and Education as well as the School of Social Work, this flexible and multidisciplinary minor prepares students for a variety of graduate programs and for careers in law, education, public health, nursing, engineering, communication, and social work, among other fields.
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 and advisor of the Minor in Disability Studies. A minor in Disability Studies consists of 18 hours, including two required courses: History of Disability (DS 3307/HIST 3307) and Disability Studies Internship (DS 4395). Students also take two to four core disability studies courses and can take up to two approved electives. No more than four courses may be completed in a single discipline.
The Disability Studies Internship (DS 4395) is a supervised internship through which students apply the academic skills they have acquired in Disability Studies courses. Interns work at an approved business, academic, or non-profit site that focuses on adapted sports, disability history, assistive technology, disability rights and policy, or universal design and accessibility. Students should complete DS 4395 as one of their final courses for the minor and must have already taken or be taking DS 3307/HIST 3307.
Some of the electives 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 approval from the director of the Minor in Disability Studies. For that reason and for the purposes of planning the internship, it is important that students consult with the advisor for the minor before registering each semester.
|Required courses (two courses)|
|HIST 3307||HISTORY OF DISABILITY||3|
|or DS 3307||HISTORY OF DISABILITY|
|DS 4395||DISABILITY STUDIES INTERNSHIP||3|
|Core Disability Studies courses (at least two courses)|
|DS 2301||TOPICS IN DISABILITY STUDIES (TOPICS IN DISABILITY STUDIES, in approval process)||3|
|DS 3321||TOPICS IN DISABILITY STUDIES||3|
|DS 3312||DISABILITY & SOCIAL WORK||3|
|or SOCW 3312||DISABILITY & SOCIAL WORK|
|DS 3331||RESEARCH IN DISABILITY STUDIES||3|
|DS 3355||UNIVERSAL DESIGN & ACCESSIBILITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS||3|
|or THEA 3355||UNIVERSAL DESIGN & ACCESSIBILITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS|
|DS 4391||CONFERENCE COURSE||3|
|KINE 3304||ADAPTED PHYSICAL EXERCISE & SPORT||3|
|Core courses requiring prior approval from director|
|HIST 3300||INTRODUCTION TO HISTORICAL RESEARCH||3|
|HIST 4388||SELECTED TOPICS IN HISTORY||3|
|Electives (up to two courses)|
|ASL 1441||BEGINNING AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE I||4|
|ASL 1442||BEGINNING AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE II||4|
|ASL 2313||INTERMEDIATE AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE I||3|
|ASL 2314||INTERMEDIATE AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE II||3|
|ANTH 3369||MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY||3|
|HIST 3316||COMPARATIVE CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY (COMPARATIVE CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY, in approval process)||3|
|KINE 3307||SPORT AND SOCIETY: ISSUES AND DEBATES||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|
|SPED 4304||ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, in approval process)||3|
|THEA 3351||ROBOTS, DIGITAL HUMANITIES, AND THEATRE||3|
|Electives requiring prior approval from director|
|ANTH 3330||CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY||3|
|ECON 3301||THE ECONOMICS OF HEALTH||3|
|ENGL 3347||TOPICS IN MULTICULTURAL LITERATURES||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|
|LING 2371||LANGUAGE IN A MULTICULTURAL USA||3|
|PHIL 3319||BIOMEDICAL ETHICS||3|
|SOCI 3336||SOCIAL INEQUALITY||3|
|SOCW 3307||DIVERSE POPULATIONS||3|
|SPED 3301||CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES (CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, in approval process)||3|
DS 2301. 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 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. Prerequisite: HIST 1311 and HIST 1312.
DS 3312. DISABILITY & SOCIAL WORK. 3 Hours.
Examines major themes in disability and social work. Topics include basic understandings of disability, lived experiences of people with disabilities, legal and policy perspectives, working with adults and children with a variety of disabilities, history of disability policy and disability rights, disability advocacy, and resources in the community, among others. Offered as DS 3312 and SOCW 3312; credit will only be granted in one department.
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.
DS 3355. UNIVERSAL DESIGN & ACCESSIBILITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS. 3 Hours.
Explores the principles of Universal Design using the performing arts as a case study: creating environments, events, buildings, and products to accommodate the broadest spectrum of human ability, size, age, and other characteristics. Investigates how to put into practice the accessibility guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Performing is not required. Offered as THEA 3355 and DS 3355; 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.