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Interdisciplinary minor in disability studies explores pop culture, policy, educational themes

February 18, 2010

Jennifer Russo
(315) 443-4751

The School of Education is now accepting applications for the interdisciplinary minor in disability studies. The new minor extends the reach of the School of Education’s leadership in the study and promotion of inclusive educational and social settings for people with disabilities, and is open to any undergraduate student at the University.

The minor in disability studies focuses on disability as a social and cultural phenomenon, identity, social construct and metaphor. Disability studies applies social, cultural, historical, legal, philosophical and humanities perspectives to understanding disability in society. Topics covered include disability law and policy; the sociology, anthropology, geography and history of disability; the intersection between disability and race, gender, sexuality and class; the representation of disability in literature, the media and popular culture; advocacy and self-advocacy; and assistive technology and accommodations for people with disabilities. The disability studies minor does not focus on instructional or clinical approaches to disability, but can complement the studies of students in these programs.

School of Education Centennial Professor Steven Taylor directs the disability studies program. “The minor in disability studies will provide yet another reason for undergraduates to come to Syracuse University,” he says. ”If a prospective student wishes to major in the liberal arts, social sciences or policy studies and also has a personal or professional interest in disability issues, Syracuse University is the place to come.”

The 18 required credits will expose students to concepts and issues presented by leaders in related fields, including teaching and leadership professors Christine Ashby, Julie Causton-Theoharis, Beth Ferri (women’s and gender sudies); Wendy Harbour and Perri Harris (cultural foundations of education); School of Education Dean Douglas Biklen; and others.

Prospective or current SU undergraduate students who are interested in disability studies should contact Taylor at staylo01@syr.edu and visit http://disabilitystudies.syr.edu.

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