What is Disability Studies?

Disability Studies as an academic discipline centers the experiences of disabled folx and emphasizes the role of the disability community in defining problems and evaluating solutions. Accepting disability as a fact of human experience, rather than an exception that must be fixed, cured or done away with, enhances the understanding of disability by incorporating social, cultural, historical, medical, legal and political perspectives from the disabled community itself. Like other oppressed groups throughout history, disabled folx face marginalization, discrimination, and erasure, with minimal attention given to historical, cultural and political/legal dimensions of disability. Neglect, ignorance, prejudice and false assumptions are common to disabled people’s experiences. This leads to exclusion, distinction, or separation of disabled folx from exercising their economic, social or cultural agency on a comparable basis with abled folx. The Disability Lab and its many projects are informed by disability studies theory and centering the disabled experience.

Read the CripTech Manifesto

Become familiar with an intro to disability studies terms

Learn about Berkeley’s history with the disability rights movement

Check out UC Berkeley’s Disability Studies Program here!