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Interest Groups

What is an interest group?

SDS has a highly interdisciplinary, engaged, and growing membership. Interest groups (IGs) afford SDS members with similar interests a structure and resources to explore, connect, and grow within SDS. At the same time, IGs can clarify and promote the changing priorities of both an organization and a field.

Interest Groups are, like the title suggests, interest-based, and hence serve programmatic and networking functions. SDS will provide meeting space at the annual conference for Interest Groups within site capacity. Dedicated conference panels (with proper advance notice) are unique to Interest Groups and not a function of Caucuses.

Teaching Disability

Disability Studies is becoming a solid, mature part of many universities’ curricula. This interest group brings together those who teach Disability Studies courses or disability-related units in their classes. As an interest group, it will be a place to exchange ideas, curriculum, and syllabi, as well as support each other in developing disability content for courses.

Sponsored by Beth Haller and Matthew Wangeman

Work, Employment and Society

The purpose of the Special Interest Group on Work, Employment & Society (WES) is to cultivate a community of disability studies scholars who have an interest in and/or are doing work in this area of research and policy; generating a forum for discussing contemporary issues in the field, as well as organizing a panel on work, employment and society at the SDS Annual Meeting. We have a new Work, Employment & Society Google Group, click the link to join.

Sponsored by Kate Caldwell and Sarah Parker Harris.


How to join an existing IG

In the future, new and renewing SDS members will have an opportunity to join IGs by checking the appropriate box and adding to their SDS membership renewal the $10 IG annual fee for each IG they wish to join. IG member fees are non-refundable. Until these features are added to our membership materials, please email sds (at) disstudies (dot) org. if you would like to join an Interest Group.


Interest Group Guidelines

The SDS Board has drafted the following guidelines to encourage and support groups with a coherent vision and field of interest. Please note that while both Interest Groups and Caucuses represent possible Constituency Groups within SDS, Interest Groups are defined differently from Caucuses. Caucuses designate groups that are under-represented within society or SDS as an organization; it is up to a caucus to determine whether its membership is restricted to an identity group or to include its allies, for instance.

SDS currently has five existing caucuses: People of Color caucus, Student caucus, Queer caucus, International caucus*, and Neurodiversity caucus. Any new caucus proposals must be submitted to the Board.

Interest Groups are, as the title suggests, interest-based, and hence serve programmatic and networking functions. The SDS conference program committee will do its best to schedule meeting space at the annual conference for both Caucuses and Interest Groups within site capacity, but please note that 1.) the possibility to have dedicated conference panels (with proper advance notice) is now unique to Interest Groups; and 2.) SDS continues to be committed to scheduling non-overlapping Caucus meetings, but cannot guarantee the same for Interest Groups.
*Please note that the International caucus’ status as a caucus or as a Global Disability research interest group is undecided, and will be pending until the meeting in June.


Pilot Period

After a period of three years (in 2017), the SDS Board will conduct a review of Interest Group guidelines and implementation, again with the opportunity for input from members.

How to Achieve IG Status

To achieve IG status, a group must complete the IG application form and collect the signatures of at least 15 SDS members. The application and list of signatures should be sent in as a scanned .pdf to info@disstudies.org with IG APPLICATION in the subject line (alternatively, hard copies of both can be mailed to the SDS Executive Office). IG applications will be considered on a rolling basis. All signatories must be current members of SDS on the date of receipt.

The IG liaison for SDS will notify the designated contact person for the IG within 4 weeks of receipt of the application. If the IG is accepted, information about the IG will be added to the SDS website within 6 weeks of submitting the application.
 The membership year begins on January 1. By the final day of the June conference, a minimum of 5 members must identify themselves as IG members and have paid the minimal fee associated ($10).
 With the important condition that SDS has the capacity and resources to support it, a thoughtful, thorough, and relevant IG application will not be denied.


How to Join an Existing IG

New and renewing SDS members have an opportunity to join IGs by checking the appropriate box and adding to their SDS membership renewal the $10 IG annual fee for each IG they wish to join. IG member fees are non-refundable.


Benefits

Once approved, an IG enjoys considerable support from SDS:

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