Disability Studies

Disability studies is an academic discipline that examines the meaning, nature, and consequences of disability. Initially the field focused on the division between "impairment" and "disability", where impairment was an impairment of an individual's mind or body, while disability was considered a social construct. This premise gave rise to two distinct models of disability: the social and medical models of disability. In 1999 the social model was universally accepted as the model preferred by the field. However, in recent years, the division between the social and medical models has been challenged. Additionally there has been an increased focus on interdisciplinary research. For example, recent investigations suggest using "cross-sectional markers of stratification" may help provide new insights on the non-random distribution of risk factors capable of acerbating disablement processes.

Disability studies courses include work in disability history, theory, legislation, policy, ethics, and the arts. However, students are taught to focus on the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities in practical terms. The field is focused on increasing individuals with disabilities access to civil rights and improving their quality of life.

Disability studies emerged in the 1980s primarily in the US, the UK, and Canada. In 1986, the Section for the Study of Chronic Illness, Impairment, and Disability of the Social Science Association (United States) was renamed the Society for Disability Studies. The first US disabilities studies program emerged in 1994, at Syracuse University. The first edition of the Disabilities Studies Reader (one of the first collections of academic papers related to disability studies) was published in 1997. The field grew rapidly over the next ten years. In 2005, the Modern Language Association established disability studies as a “division of study.”

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Matching Disability Studies Colleges

CUNY Graduate School and University Center

Four or more years; Public; $13,920 average out-state tuition; $6,530 average in-state tuition

Aurora University

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $23,260 average out-state tuition; $23,260 average in-state tuition

Nassau Community College

At least 2 but less than 4 years; Public; $10,204 average out-state tuition; $5,102 average in-state tuition

California Baptist University

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $30,446 average out-state tuition; $30,446 average in-state tuition

University of Alaska Anchorage

Four or more years; Public; $17,664 average out-state tuition; $5,532 average in-state tuition

University of Illinois at Chicago

Four or more years; Public; $22,310 average out-state tuition; $11,907 average in-state tuition

University of Maine

Four or more years; Public; $27,960 average out-state tuition; $8,580 average in-state tuition

Scholarships for Disability Studies Majors

Bullet name award deadline Link
 

Maxine Cass and Deanne Yackle Memorial Scholarship

Iowa Lakes Community College

$500 March 01, 2021 See Details
 

Maxine Cass and Deanne Yackle Memorial Scholarship

Iowa Lakes Community College

award

$500

deadline

March 01, 2021
See Details
 

We Believe Human Services and Disabilities Studies Scholarship

Iowa Lakes Community College

Up to $0 March 01, 2021 See Details
 

We Believe Human Services and Disabilities Studies Scholarship

Iowa Lakes Community College

award

Up to $0

deadline

March 01, 2021
See Details