Disability and Human Development

Contact Information: 
Campus Location: 436 Disability, Health and Social Policy Building, 1640 West Roosevelt Road 
(312) 413-1647

Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, Sarah Parker Harris
Academic Coordinator, Maitha Abogado maitha@uic.edu
Academic Advisor, Maris Fujiura mfujiu2@uic.edu

BS in Disability and Human Development

The Bachelor of Science in Disability and Human Development uniquely explores disability as a complex biological, social, cultural, political, historical, and economic experience. This approach to disability, in itself, constitutes a unique curriculum that asks students to see disability as a contextual and changing phenomena. Further, the Department of Disability and Human Development mobilizes its relationships with community partners and disability organizations as well as its leadership within the fields of disability and human development and disability studies to provide students with a broad, interdisciplinary degree that blends theory, research, and practice.

Minor in Disability and Human Development

Disability under the framework of Disability Studies (DS) is explored and understood through a social model that is based on history and culture. Under this formulation, disability is not inherent in the disabled person, but a result of sociocultural dynamics that occur in interactions between society, the environment (buildings as well as attitudes) and people with disabilities. Therefore, Disability Studies’ subject matter is not simply human differences – but the meaning we in society have made of those differences historically, by constructing disability as inferior and a “lack” based on particular cultural norms. Part of this transformative approach to studying disability involves the education of academicians, researchers, policy experts, and clinicians who will join with disabled people as active challengers of oppressive institutions and environments. Students from any discipline can engage in disability studies. Because the program has faculty, researchers, and students with backgrounds in health, education, assistive technology, the social sciences, and the humanities, the Minor in Disability and Human Development offers a unique opportunity to study the full complexity of disability in a rich interdisciplinary manner.