Disability Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.ewu.edu.

Romel W. Mackelprang, Director, Disability Studies
department page
233 Senior Hall
509.359.6484

Undergraduate Certificates


Undergraduate Program

The Disability Studies Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary program involving multiple academic departments throughout the university. Administratively, it is located in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work drawing students from multiple disciplines from every EWU college. It is offered in both traditional and online educational formats.

Disability Studies is a multidisciplinary field drawing from humanities, liberal arts and the sciences and is taught by faculty from multiple fields and disciplines. The Disability Studies Certificate program, offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, educates students to develop an understanding of disability, disability culture and people with disabilities as inclusive members of society. The program’s emphasis on universal access complements the university’s mission to prepare its graduates to live and work in a diverse society.

The Disability Studies Certificate program recognizes disability is part of the tapestry of a diverse society. It emphasizes universal access the philosophy that society should be inclusive of people of all diverse backgrounds and traits and that the responsibility for diversity transcends traditional identity based characteristics. Universal Access (UA) embraces an approach that responsible societies do not just accommodate minorities but are constructed; for all people; majority and minority, typical and atypical.

Graduate Certificates


Graduate Program

The Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Program encourages people with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree preparation and who are interested in disability, disability culture, and the lived experiences of persons with disabilities to enroll in the graduate courses offered. Post-baccalaureate students and matriculated graduated students are invited to enroll in Disability Studies course that ares offered in both traditional and online formats. Non-matriculated students will be required to follow university procedures to enroll in the Certificate Program.


Disability Studies Courses


DSST 310. DISABILITY, CULTURE AND SOCIETY. 5 Credits.

Satisfies: cultural and gender diversity university graduation requirement.
This course introduces students to disability as diversity and to the culture of people with disabilities. Historical and contemporary beliefs about disability will be addressed. Universal access will be introduced as an emerging context for disability rights and human rights.

DSST 410. DISABILITY AS DIVERSITY. 5 Credits.

Disability is just one of many manifestations of human diversity. This course has been developed to help explore disability throughout the lifespan and in the social and societal contexts that frame disability experience. Students from multiple fields will develop understanding of disability accommodation and how universal access benefits all of society, including those from majority and minority backgrounds.

DSST 490. SENIOR CAPSTONE PROJECT IN UNIVERSAL ACCESS. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: DSST 410 or permission of the instructor.
Satisfies: senior capstone university graduation requirement.
This course provides students the opportunity to develop a community-based, service-learning project with colleagues from multiple academic disciplines. Under the direction of the instructor, students participate in a project that addresses universal access in the context of a diverse society. At the discretion of the student’s academic major advisor, it can also serve as a Senior Capstone experience. Weekly lectures will integrate conceptual and practical learning relative to universal access for diverse populations including those with disabilities.

DSST 496. EXPERIMENTAL COURSE. 1-5 Credits.

DSST 499. DIRECTED STUDY. 1-15 Credits.

Pre-requisites: permission of the instructor, department chair and college dean.
Independent study under faculty direction, adapted to individual needs of the students.

DSST 501. DISABILITY, CULTURE AND SOCIETY. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: baccalaureate degree or instructor permission.
Disability and persons with disabilities have been with us throughout the history of humankind. This course has been developed to familiarize students to disability as a component of the diverse tapestry of society. Historical disability conceptualizations and issues will be discussed. Contemporary and emerging explanations of disability in contemporary society and Disability Culture will be explored.

DSST 510. DISABILITY AS DIVERSITY. 5 Credits.

Notes: may be stacked with DSST 410.
Pre-requisites: baccalaureate degree or instructor permission.
Disability shapes, and is shaped by, multiple social and cultural identities as well as lived experiences. This course teaches students to recognize, analyze, and comprehend disability, and disabled persons, as part of the rich tapestry of human experience; including disability intersections with other diverse identities and groups in society. Working through interdisciplinary scholarship, cultural artifacts, and first-person accounts, students will learn how disability compliments and also complicates existing identity categories and notions of diversity.

DSST 520. HUMAN DIVERSITY AND SOCIETY: LAWS AND SOCIAL POLICIES. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: bachelor's degree or permission of the instructor.
This course explores historical and contemporary U.S. structures, laws and policies and their impacts on access to society. Based on the premise that all people and groups have inalienable rights to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” this course was developed to explore the impact and evolution of laws and policies that affect the rights of individuals and groups. Using a critical diversity lens, it brings together students and scholars from multiple disciplines and diversities by providing a unifying framework of universal access (drawn from the Disability field) to analyze the intent and impact of laws on majority and minority groups based on attributes such as disability, race and ethnicity, social class, gender and sexual orientation and identity in all walks of life in society.

DSST 530. DISABILITY: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES FROM THE LIBERAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES. 5 Credits.

Notes: may be stacked with DSST 430.
Pre-requisites: bachelor's degree or permission or instructor.
This course addresses Disability Studies as it as unfolded within and across the humanities and liberal arts. Over the last generation, disability studies scholars have analyzed representations of people with disabilities as they appear in literature, myth, art, film, photography, music and theatre. These fields reflect and shape the meaning and reality of disability. Poetic and other artistic modes of discourse can deepen our understanding of the lived experience of disability. These shared representations of disability are, for the most part, taken for granted even though they have a powerful effect on popular culture, influence the attitudes and behaviors of individuals, and play a part in the formation of public policy related to disability. In addition to exploring analysis of disability representation, we will also look at scholarly interventions within the humanities and learn about humanities-based research methods that have come out of disability studies.

DSST 590. INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT IN UNIVERSAL ACCESS. 5 Credits.

Notes: may be stacked with DSST 490.
Pre-requisites: DSST 510 or permission.
This course is applies classroom learning to community settings. Students in this course will participate in community engaged service learning with colleagues from multiple academic disciplines. Under the direction of the instructor and working with a community mentors, students will participate in projects that enrich the community by enhancing universal access and full participation in society by diverse groups.

DSST 596. EXPERIMENTAL COURSE. 1-6 Credits.