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Disability Studies

Disability Studies

Disability Studies (DS) creates the space for rethinking traditional, medical approaches to imagining disability, mental health and related social institutions, using a liberal arts lens to explore the variety of possible, yet uncommonly shared, meanings. We situate disability amidst contemporary, interdisciplinary debates and developments in research and policy, illustrating how these concerns touch all our lives in different spheres: rights, family, access, inclusion, sports, education, youth, workplace, art, war, aging, cultures and mobility. Through analysis of everyday life cases, we reconfigure the common perception that it is the disability that needs to be fixed or cured, and instead look at ways the social, policy and built environments can be adapted.    

Summer Courses Available

DS1010: Exploring Disability

DS2294: Special Topics: Gender, Sexuality and Disability

For more information, please contact Prof. Pamela Cushing: pamela.cushing@uwo.ca


Disability Studies major and minor modules available!

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Diverse interpretive lenses from the individual to the social models
  • Symbolism and the social construction of disability, illness and health
  • Storytelling, narrative, and media representations of disability
  • Problem-based learning curriculum: seeks understanding of complexity and multiple stake-holders not rigid answers
  • Disability experiences across the life course (pre-natal to end of life)
  • Social interactions, social inclusion and relationships across difference
  • Meaning, structures, policies and ethics of caregiving and families
  • Inclusion and acquired injury in sports, recreation and camps
  • Disability arts and literature
  • Historical perception, care and control of people judged as non-normative
  • Education policy, rights, accessibility and innovation
  • Bioethics and public discourse

Career Interests Career Options

Student Testimonials