Disability Studies Minor
The Disability Studies Undergraduate Minor is an interdisciplinary program at Shippensburg University that explores the meaning and impact of disability across time, place, and group.
Why Study Disability Studies at Ship?
The disability studies program at Shippensburg University offers a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary body of knowledge and skills and, in particular, raises awareness of disability issues, knowledge of disability rights and laws, and best practices towards creating inclusive and accessible environments and communities. The knowledge and skills gained will enhance your course of study, prepare you for disability-related careers and advanced study in disability studies, and will deepen your understanding of the multicultural fabric of contemporary society.
Because the coursework is flexible and provides opportunities in all three colleges, students can gear the minor towards their own interests and career paths. Anyone interested in disability, whether that interest is personal, academic or to pursue a disability-related career, should consider enrolling in this program.
There are a growing number of disability-specific careers, such as disability law, mental health counseling, and social service program delivery and management. More broadly, disability is an increasingly important aspect of many careers. Jobs related to human resources, education, social work, psychology, social policy, urban planning, software development, criminal justice and more must take into account the diversity of the populations that they serve and be prepared to consider issues of accommodations, inclusion, and accessibility. Students with an interdisciplinary background in disability studies will have a crucial skill set desired by employers. Minors are prepared to work with a wide variety of people and build skills in creating inclusive, accessible settings. Graduates find career opportunities in psychology, social service delivery and social work, social policy, counseling, health fields, human resources, education, politics, criminology, recreation management, and more.
The minor requires 18 credits of coursework, including two required classes (6 credits) and 4 interdisciplinary electives (12 credits).
DS100 Introduction to Disability Studies assumes no prior knowledge of disability studies, and offers a terrific overview of disability studies. It builds students' knowledge of the history of disability, current successes and challenges experienced by people with disabilities, and background in key concepts like accessibility and inclusion. It is a great place to start. The Disability Studies Minor office can tell you more about these opportunities.
Students take these two core courses:
- DS100 Introduction to Disability Studies (fulfills General Education Category E: Social Sciences and meets the university's diversity requirement)
- DS400 Capstone in Disability Studies
Then choose four elective courses from a variety of disciplines.
For a complete list of courses, see the undergraduate catalog.
Note: At least 50 percent of the courses must be taken at Shippensburg University. Students must take electives from at least two disciplines. Permission from the director of Disability Studies must be obtained to take more than two classes from one discipline.
Outside the classroom, there are plenty of great opportunities to get involved in groups and activities. Students may consider the following:
- Disability Awareness Club - This group focuses on promoting disability awareness and addressing the barriers students with disabilities face on campus. Students from all majors and colleges are welcome, and one does not need to have a disability to join.
- People Involved Equally (PIE) - This student club has a mission to socialize with adults with developmental disabilities who reside in the community, offering social opportunities, peer support, and assistance in working towards individually-identified goals. Students from all majors and colleges are welcome.
- Special Olympics Swimming - This involves the training people with disabilities in swimming. Volunteers can coach, swim as a buddy, and/or offer enthusiastic support. Volunteers do not have to be trained swimmers.
- NAMI - The nation's largest grassroots mental health organization is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI on Campus allows colleges to become a part of NAMI's mission by providing resources, education, support, and advocacy to those with mental illness.
- Inclusive Basketball - This event offers opportunities for anyone to engage in a fun game of basketball, regardless of age or ability. It's a great opportunity to meet people across abilities and have some fun. People are welcome to come just once or make a longer commitment. Students from all majors and colleges are welcome.
There are plenty of other ways for students to get involved in the community.