Skip to content

SDS Membership Drive Overall Description

Dear Disability Scholars and Advocates,

The Society for Disability Studies is conducting its 2021 membership drive. We're excited to continue moving forward with new programming and to have the opportunity to co-conference virtually again in April 2021 with the OSU Multiple Perspectives Conference!


As co-chairs of your membership committee, we’d like to draw your attention to a few opportunities available to those considering membership for the first time, or on the fence about renewing.

1. SDS will never turn you away for lack of funds. If you would like to maintain or begin a membership, we’ll be glad to talk with you about reducing or waiving the fees
2. SDS is based in North America, but serves members around the world. If you are a new or lapsed international member, we invite you to join at the discount rate of $40, and to register for our April conference for only $20.
3. As always, SDS has a suggested dues rate of $40 for student members, whose registration for our April conference is only $10.
4. For those who hold academic and professional positions in institutions committed to disability studies, you might consider an Organizational Membership as a way to streamline SDS membership for several colleagues and/or your students in a department, centre, or museum. For more information about Organizational Membership, please reach out! Write to sds [at] We will customize a plan for your group’s membership and conference registration.


Finally, we have two time sensitive offers that you might consider:

1. If you are a student or disability advocate in the community joining SDS for the first time, and you become a 2021 member this fall before January 1st, your membership entitles you to complimentary registration for our April 2021 conference. That means that your $40 membership includes conference registration.
2. If you are a long time member who has considered Lifetime Membership (a one-time fee, great for those in long term academic appointments), this fall is the last opportunity to become a lifetime member at the current rate of $1,500. After January 1st, the rate for lifetime membership will increase to $1,800.


Current members report the following benefits of membership:

  • Mentoring for students interested in academic and other careers that disability studies training enhances.
  • A members-only listserv for discussions and announcements.
  • Membership directory.
  • Professional development and networking opportunities at conferences and other events.
  • Reduced-rate registration at sibling organizations' conferences, including the Society for Applied Anthropology online in March 2021.

Your membership provides the means for SDS to offer:

  • Disability Studies Quarterly, a premier peer-reviewed open source research journal edited by Brenda Brueggemann and Elizabeth Brewer Olson.
  • Optimal accessibility and low-cost registration for SDS events.
  • An accessible website with resources and member pages.
  • Opportunities for the development of disability studies curricula.
  • Awards for emerging and senior scholars in disability studies.

We are so excited for the new things happening in the coming year as a part of SDS, from a rekindled student caucus, to our spring conference, to new initiatives like the BLM taskforce. The Society for Disability Studies is an organization that exists to support its members, and is run by members who volunteer for a term on the board. Our future is your participation! If there is anything that we as membership committee co-chairs can do to better serve our members, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

With warm wishes,

Kathy McMahon-Klosterman and Cassandra Hartblay
SDS 2020-2021 Membership Committee Co-Chairs

kathy [at]
cassandra [at]
sds [at]

P.S. The CARES Act added a new $300 charitable contribution deduction for 2020. So you can claim up to $300 in charitable giving even if you don't typically itemize your deductions.

Technical Bits

Our membership database system (Wild Apricot) tracks Memberships by email address. To Renew, please login first with the same email you used to join, go to your profile, and find the "RENEW" BUTTON. While there, please update your Profile. You can alternatively create a new Profile if you use the “JOIN” button with a new email address.

If you are changing your Membership Level, such as student to professional, please contact us. Wild Apricot wants its parents to do that manually. We are trying to teach it that it can do that independently, but it keeps talking about interdependence! You can be interdependent with Devva and just drop me a note and I will get Wild Apricot to understand. Contact SDSKasnitz [at] gmail [dot] com.