What is Disability Studies?

I am new to this intellectual discipline. I have studied communication disorders, special education, assistive technology, and school psychology (in that order), but have never delved into the world of “disability studies” until now. I am still reading books and articles on the subject. However, here are my initial thoughts as I begin a deeper dive.

“Disability studies” is the study of the conceptual ideas and contexts of what makes someone disabled and how society treats those labeled as such. It does not specifically deal with how to educate those with disabilities; rather, it seeks to discuss how we view people and define them compared to societal values. It looks at the past and present, and hypothesizes the future. It seeks to draw comparison in works of fiction (e.g., books, television, film) and how the worlds of fiction and reality blend in daily life.

What can past civilizations, social justice movements, and works of art teach us about disability? Is it an elitist mentality that does not truly exist? Or does it exist but our reaction to it is so jaded that we have created more problems than the disabilities actually give us? I believe these are just a couple of the questions sought in the field, with many more still out there.

I am not an expert in this field. This blog is just a place for me to express my thoughts as I explore the topic.

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