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University of Washington – Disability Studies

Disability Studies separated by line above University of Washington

The Disability Studies Program involves a multi-campus, interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, staff, and community members who share an interest in challenging the traditional ways in which disability is constructed in society.

University of Washington undergraduate students have the opportunity to pursue the Disability Studies Minor and the Individualized Studies Major in Disability Studies.

UW is at the forefront of the development of Disability Studies as an academic discipline through the individual research and teaching of growing numbers of faculty across campuses and disciplines, increasing student interest in the subject area, and an expansion of traditional diversity efforts to include disability. The Disability Studies Program provides additional opportunities for both students and faculty to explore the field.

Contact information

FACULTY

  • JOSÉ ALANIZ
    Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Department of Comparative Literature (Adjunct)
  • CLARA BERRIDGE
    Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
  • SHERRIE BROWN
    Research Professor, College of Education; Associate Director, UCEDD
  • LANCE A. FORSHAY
    Lecturer and Program Coordinator, ASL and Deaf Studies
  • SARA GOERING
    Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy; Program on Values in Society
  • MARK HARNISS
    Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine
  • KURT L. JOHNSON
    Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine; Director, Center for Technology and Disability Studies
  • RICHARD LADNER
    Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Engineering
  • DENNIS LANG
    Affiliate Faculty, Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
  • STEPHEN MEYERS
    Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Societies and Justice; Jackson School Of International Studies
  • SUSHIL OSWAL
    Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Tacoma
  • MAUREEN "MO" WEST
    Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health Studies, UW Bothell
  • KRISTI WINTER
    Lecturer, American Sign Language
  • JOANNE WOIAK
    Lecturer, Disability Studies Program; Department of Bioethics and Humanities (Adjunct)
 Black and white photo of a 1993 disability rights march in New York City. At front are Paul Miller, Judy Heumann, Justin Dart, and others, with large crowd behind. Marchers holding a sign that says: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Photo credit: Tom Olin.
1993 disability rights march in New York City. At front are Paul Miller, Judy Heumann, Justin Dart, and others, with large crowd behind. Marchers holding a sign that says: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Photo credit: Tom Olin.

CURRENT CLASS OFFERINGS

University of Washington undergraduate students have the opportunity to pursue the Disability Studies Minor and the Individualized Studies Major in Disability Studies. All courses are on Seattle campus unless otherwise noted.

Spring 2018 Courses:

  • DIS ST/LSJ/CHID 230 Introduction to Disability Studies, Kristen L. Johnson, T/Th 10:30-12:20
  • DIS ST/LSJ/CHID 332 Disability and Society: Murderball, Savants, and Crip Art: Disability in Popular Culture, Heather D. Evans, T/Th 10:30-12:20
  • DIS ST/LSJ/CHID 430 Topics in Disability Studies: Disability Studies, Feminist Theory, and Representation, Ronnie Thibault, M/W 10:30-12:20
  • DIS ST 435 Advanced Seminar in Disability Studies, Sharan Brown, M/W 12:30-2:20

PUBLIC EVENTS

Spring Quarter Brown Bag Seminars: Many of these presenters are recipients of 2017 Harlan Hahn Research Grants awarded by UW Disability Studies. All talks take place on Friday afternoons, 12pm-1pm, in Mary Gates Hall 024.  Many thanks to our colleagues at the D Center (Disability and Deaf Cultural Center) for sharing their space and volunteering to help us organize these talks.  Please note that the D Center is a scent free/mobility aid accessible space. Scent free soap/hand sanitizer will be provided. Bathrooms will be gender neutral for the events. We will have ASL interpretation and CART captioning available at the events.

  • March 30, Heather Feldner
  • April 13, Ann Luetzow
  • April 20, Sushil Oswal
  • May 4, Mark Harniss
  • May 11, John Porter
  • May 25, Annuska Zolyomi

Inclusion through Entrepreneurship
Sarah Parker Harris and Rob Gould
Tuesday, April 10th, 2018, 10:00-11:30 am
Allen Library Auditorium, UW Seattle

Abstract: The recent reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the subsequent advancement of Employment First policy has reignited discussion around disability employment, particularly with regards to the potential for entrepreneurship to challenge the charity and rehabilitation models that pervade disability employment.

While self-employment among people with disabilities has been studied previously, entrepreneurship is qualitatively distinct both theoretically and in practice. Believed to foster economic growth and attitudinal change, entrepreneurship has been an essential part of the economy and historically has been used to help disadvantaged populations enter the labor market. Entrepreneurs with disabilities represent a source of innovation and productivity and, if offered the appropriate resources, entrepreneurship is both an employment strategy and an antipoverty strategy that can lead to economic self-sufficiency and empowerment.

This presentation reports on current employment trends and policies in the United States, and presents results from an interdisciplinary research project that uniquely bridges the fields of disability studies and entrepreneurial studies.>

To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or dso@uw.edu, preferably at least 10 days in advance of the event.  ASL and CART have been requested.

Speakers’ bios:
Sarah Parker Harris, Ph.D, is an associate professor and the director of graduate and undergraduate studies in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She has published and presented widely in areas of disability policy and law, entrepreneurship and disability, welfare-to-work, and international human rights.

Robert Gould, Ph.D., is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development and is the Director of Research for the Great Lakes ADA Center. His interests include both domestic and international social policy and evaluation, employment and vocational rehabilitation, knowledge translation, and issues of rights and social justice as