The University of Toledo is starting the nation's first full undergraduate major in disability studies, an interdisciplinary field that already has considerable scholarly interest and graduate options.
The disability studies major at Toledo will be based on a 21-credit set of required courses. They include an introduction to the field, courses on disability culture and a course on the history of disability in the United States. Students will then select electives from options that include deaf studies, gender and disability, and autism and culture.
The program at Toledo will join minors at such colleges asOhio State University, Pennsylvania State University and theUniversity of California at Berkeley. Toledo will also continue to offer a minor. City University of New York offers an online bachelor's in disability studies for those who have already completed some course work elsewhere.
The creation of a full major at Toledo is "a big deal," said Lennard J. Davis, a leader in the field of disability studies and a distinguished professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which offers a doctorate in disability studies.