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Studies & Degrees in Disability Studies

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Disability Studies Study Programs

Disability is a widely use term but what does it really mean? Disability or falling under the category of the disabled means having a long-term condition that hinders one from doing activities of daily living, including having a job. It has many types like eyesight disability, hearing disability, mental disability, and others.

Disability Study is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field. It borrows from many field of study. Disability Study does not only involve the study of the pathophysiology of the diseases that causes disability but it also involves other field of study like economics, social work, and even political science. No single field of study can claim Disability Study as their own because it has many overlapping elements that contribute to the totality of this study.

Disability Study has many definitions but in summary, it examines the policies and practices of the society in relationship to the physical or psychological experience of the disabled. It all began with the disability rights movement in the 1970s and 1980s. They laid the groundwork for the development of this course, moving away from the focus on the study of what causes the disabilities that they have, but rather changing the focus on the barriers that they encounter on a daily basis like discrimination, building accessibility, and prejudice.

Pursuing a career in Disability Study entails great responsibility. To become an expert in the field, there are a number of things that you need to learn. It is very important to have a good background on the disability law in your country and if there has been any amendment to the laws for the benefit of the disabled or the handicapped. Viewing the challenges of the disabled individually and not as a whole is the key. It is imperative to also work on eliminating the social stigma of the disabled.

There are countless agencies where expertise on disability study will be required. Community service agencies, labor organizations, law firms, government agencies, school districts are just a few example. Counselors, researchers, or even a teacher are possible job options.

The most important factor in this field is one can have the opportunity to change the views of the people all over the world about disabled and handicapped people. Bringing awareness to the world that handicapped people are still contributing members of the society and is no different than anyone else, that they have rights that we all should respect, and that not all handicapped people encounters the same situation everyday. It is a challenging job because as they say “old habits die hard.” It is going to be part of your day to day job to change the view of other people about disability and to prove that they deserve equal opportunity at work, in school or even on the bus. Being innovative and creative can also help you to see the needs of the handicapped people to allow them to be a productive member of the society. Change what needs to be change and help implement those changes can be a real challenge, but knowing that generation after generation can benefit from all of these makes it all worth it.