Disability Studies: A Basic Overview


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An overview of the deifinition and institutional components of Disability Studies.

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Disability Studies: A Basic Overview

  1. 1. Disability Studies A Brief Introduction
  2. 2. Disability Studies Quarterly: Statement of Principles <ul><li>Disability Studies takes as its domain the relationship of social values to societal organization and public policies, professional training and delivery of services, individual behavior and interpersonal encounters, cultural representation and technological and architectural design. </li></ul><ul><li>Disability Studies utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to analyze the intricate interactions among social, cultural, political, economic, and physiological variables. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Disability Studies Quarterly: Statement of Principles <ul><li>It seeks neither to jettison, nor to embrace medical paradigms of disability, but to transcend them. </li></ul><ul><li>It explains personal experiences of disability, not simply in terms of the functioning of bodies that operate in nonstandard ways, but by locating those differences within the larger context of the cultural milieus that shape disability experiences. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Disability Studies Quarterly: Statement of Principles <ul><li>Disability Studies also seeks to supply the rigorous research and critical analysis essential to any effort at social reconstruction. </li></ul><ul><li>The DSQ Statement of Principles By Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Paul K. Longmore </li></ul>
  5. 5. Guidelines for a Disability Studies Program <ul><li>The following preliminary guidelines for emerging programs in Disability Studies were approved at the Society for Disability Studies meeting on June 5, 2004. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Guidelines for Disability Studies Preamble <ul><li>The Society for Disability Studies (SDS) invites scholars from a variety of disciplines to bring their talents and concerns to the study of disability as a key aspect of human experience on a par with race, class, gender, sex, and sexual orientation. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Guidelines for Disability Studies Preamble - 2 <ul><li>As a group of committed activists, academics, artists, practitioners, and various combinations of these, we believe that the study of disability has important political, social, and economic import for society as a whole, including both disabled and non-disabled people. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Guidelines for Disability Studies Preamble - 3 <ul><li>Not only can this work help elevate the place of disabled people within society, but it can also add valuable perspective on a broad range of ideas, issues, and policies beyond the disability community, and beyond the study of service provision or the training of providers. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Guidelines for Disability Studies <ul><li>Accordingly, we offer the following working guidelines for any program that describes itself as “Disability Studies”: </li></ul><ul><li>It should be interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary. Disability sits at the center of many overlapping disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Programs in Disability Studies should encourage a curriculum that allows students, activists, teachers, artists, practitioners, and researchers to engage the subject matter from various disciplinary perspectives. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Guidelines for Disability Studies <ul><li>It should challenge the view of disability as an individual deficit or defect that can be remedied solely through medical intervention or rehabilitation by &quot;experts&quot; and other service providers. </li></ul><ul><li>Rather, a program in Disability Studies should explore models and theories that examine social, political, cultural, and economic factors that define disability and help determine personal and collective responses to difference. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Guidelines for Disability Studies <ul><li>At the same time, DS should work to de-stigmatize disease, illness, and impairment, including those that cannot be measured or explained by biological science. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, while acknowledging that medical research and intervention can be useful, Disability Studies should interrogate the connections between medical practice and stigmatizing disability. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Guidelines for Disability Studies <ul><li>It should study national and international perspectives, policies, literature, culture, and history with an aim of placing current ideas of disability within their broadest possible context. Since attitudes toward disability have not been the same across times and places, much can be gained by learning from these other experiences. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Guidelines for Disability Studies <ul><li>It should actively encourage participation by disabled students and faculty, and should ensure physical and intellectual access. </li></ul><ul><li>It should make it a priority to have leadership positions held by disabled people; at the same time it is important to create an environment where contributions from anyone who shares the above goals are welcome. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Resources <ul><li>An online directory of Disability Studies Programs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://isc.temple.edu/neighbor/ds/dsprograms.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Society for Disability Studies resource list: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.uic.edu/orgs/sds/links.html </li></ul></ul>