Program: Minor in Disability Studies

Program Description

The Disability Studies Minor is a flexible, interdisciplinary course of study that brings together contributions from a variety of fields. It recognizes disability as a cultural and embodied experience situated in history and changing social circumstances. The minor regards disability not simply as a medical problem, educational concern, or matter of legal or social policy, but instead as a lived experience. To do so, the program questions concepts such as normalcy and analyzes difference by interrogating institutional and political structures, cultural practices, and products that contribute to the social construction of disability. In sum, the aim of the Disability Studies Minor is to provide students with the tools to critically engage with disability as an identity and a way of living in the world.

Program Requirements

18 units minimum. At least 8 units must be upper division.

1. Core Courses (9 units)

SPED 200SL Introduction to Disability Studies (3)*
HIST 389 Disability in American History and Law (3)
ENGL 322 Disability in Literature and Culture (3)

2. Elective Courses (9 units)

AAS 350 Asian American Personality and Mental Health (3)*
ANTH 425 Culture, Health and Healing (3)
CADV 450 Helping Children Cope with Medical Environments (3)
CD 133 Survey of Communication Disorders (3)*
CHS 476 Healing Traditions in Chicano/a Communities (3)
DEAF 360 American Deaf Culture (3)
DEAF 400 Deaf and Hearing People: A Comparative Cultural Analysis (3)
FCS 354 Functional Fashion (3)
HSCI 422 Health Services for the Elderly and the Mentally Ill (3)
HSCI 442 Health, Culture, and Diversity (3)
JOUR 372 Diversity and the Media (3)*
KIN 451/KIN 451L Adapted Aquatic Therapeutic Exercise: Assessment, Evaluation and Program Design and Lab (2/1)
KIN 452/L Adapted Physical Activity for Children and Lab (2/1)
RTM 204 Introduction to Recreation Therapy (3)
SOC 304 Sociology of Deviance (3)
SOC 493 Diversity and Social Justice (3)

This program encourages reflection, outreach, and activism. Because issues around disability identity, rights, and access reach across many disciplines, consider applying the concepts from the disability studies minor to your major. Possible electives for this experience include:

AFRS 392A-Z Fieldwork in the African-American Community (3)
AAS 361A-Z Asian American Experience of Selected Groups (3)
CCE 490 Civic and Community Engagement Capstone (3)
CHS 270SOC/F Fieldwork in Barrio Studies (1/2)
CTVA 319 Criticism in Cinema and Television Arts (3)
CJS 454AA-ZZ Selected Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
ENGL 494/IP English Intern Program (1/2)
GWS 205/CS Gender and Women’s Studies Community Service (1/2)
FCS 427 Consumer Advocacy and Education (3)
FCS 494/ FCS 494I Academic Internship and Evaluation (2/1)
POLS 449DC DC Politics, Culture, and History (3)
POLS 449PR Professional Development in DC (3)
POLS 494I/A Political Science Internship (1/2)
RTM 300 Recreation and Community Development (3)

Some courses in the minor may have additional prerequisites beyond the required courses shown above.

*Courses that are also General Education: AAS 350 satisfies D1 Social Sciences and Information Competence; CD 133 satisfies E Lifelong Learning; SPED 200SL satisfies F Comparative Cultural Studies; and JOUR 372 satisfies F Comparative Cultural Studies and Information Competence

Total Units in the Minor: 18


Director: Leilani Hall
Sierra Tower (ST) 820
(818) 677-3428

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a minor in Disability Studies will be able to:

  1. Increase cultural competency by critically examining disability as a global societal phenomenon to help destigmatize disability culture and promote disability as a positive cultural identity.
  2. Evaluate critically the ways in which ableism intersects with racism, sexism, cissexism, classism, ageism, and homophobia.
  3. Explore models and theories that examine the social, political, cultural and economic factors that define disability.
  4. Acquire an awareness an awareness of disability history, rights, legislation, representation and societal attitudes to understand disability in a personal, social, economic, artistic, and political context.
  5. Assess the various roles people with disabilities have, through their own agency, advocacy, and voices shaped conceptions of disability in history and modern society.
  6. Examine ways in which various systems are fraught with ableism and inhibit and limit full participation of people with disabilities.
  7. Develop analytical and observation skills to identify systemic ableism and apply inclusive disability frameworks to their academic, professional, and personal lives.
  8. Explore disability studies within their field of study and intended profession to enhance advocacy, inclusive best practices, and their role as a change agent.
  9. Apply the knowledge and skills gained to promote change among individuals, communities, and organizations, by participating in course work and other course experiences.