This course will increase students' awareness and knowledge of the fields of disability studies and disability services and programs. Just as disability is moving from the margins to the center of the national conversation, so disability is being integrated into the higher education curriculum. The study of disability within such disciplines as history, sociology, anthropology, history, English, political science, and geography has been of increasing interest to academic scholars. This course will provide an overview of this new field called disability studies, allowing students to reframe socialized conceptualizations and definitions of disability. Historical and current perspectives of vocational rehabilitation, special education, legislation, and the disability rights movement will be explored through the moral, medical, and sociopolitical models of disability.
Through class discussions, group work, and writing assignments, students will be able to: discuss the history and dynamics of disability studies, services, and programs; articulate ways in which ability and disability, like gender, are historical and social constructions; articulate new definitions and conceptualization of disability; recognize and discuss how the various models and definitions of disability have affected services and attitudes toward disabled people; assess the status of disabled people in terms of education, employment, and health care; speculate about the roles of rehabilitation counselors, educators, health care providers in promoting and resisting replications of socially constructed power relationships; discuss ways they resist or replicate stereotypes about people with disabilities, and ways in which they promote informed, accurate, and respectful ideas.