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General Scholarships

SDS has a modest amount of money allocated for scholarships to help support the participation of people who are low-income, international, or student attendees presenting at the Society for Disability Studies annual meetings. Funding for general scholarships is provided by Membership Dues, the SDS Silent Auction proceeds and through donations.  We have given priority to student members and to international participants. The awards vary from the full to partial costs of Dues and Registration, based on need.  Request assistance at the time you pay dues or registration from Devva at

Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship

The Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship honors the life and scholarship of Chris Bell, disability scholar and activist, former Society for Disability Studies president and co-founder of the SDS People of Color Caucus. In his article “White Disability Studies” (in the Disability Studies Reader) Bell makes a strong case for including issues of race within the field of disability studies. His essay “To Act is to be Committed” discusses the challenges of activism with/in the academy. Chris’s work explored issues of race, disability, AIDS, illness, class and sexuality. At the time of his death in 2009, he was an ARRT Fellow at the Center for Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies at Syracuse University.

The Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship seeks to support people of color and non-white racial minorities doing scholarly work in the field of disability studies with preference for those whose work aligns with Chris’s commitment to intersectionality, identity politics and activism.

The Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship is funded through the generosity of an anonymous donor who shares Bell's commitment to diversifying both SDS and disability studies. The scholarship carries a member-match requirement. If you share Bell's vision as described above, consider making a donation that enables SDS to match donor funds.

Click eligibility for information about the Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship.

Please note the following: We can only provide scholarships to people who are presenting in some capacity at the conference.


The Society for Disability Studies can only provide scholarships through the generous support of donors! To support either the General Scholarship or Chris Bell Memorial Scholarship funds, please click here. Select which fund you would like to support from the drop down menu. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, any donations towards SDS scholarship funds are tax-deductible. A donation receipt will be sent to you for your records.