2021 Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Celebration of Achievement

Welcome to the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies’ 2021 Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Celebration of Achievement! The curriculum in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies provides students a means to explore disability within the larger context of diversity and to examine professional practice, scholarship, and policy related to persons with disabilities.

Congratulations to the twenty-nine undergraduates who completed the 24-credit Minor; the four graduate students who completed the 9-credit Graduate Certificate; and the one doctoral student who completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies.

Please take a moment to learn a little more about each of the honorees and how these courses shaped their perspective of disability. The students are recognized by their respective accomplishments in the photo galleries below.  

Honoree Welcome by Professors Liz DePoy and Stephen Gilson

Liz DePoy, Madeline Sanborn and Stephen Gilson. A virtual welcome to all.  We recognize the trials and tribulations of the year brought by the pandemic and world events. In such a contentious and unfamiliar climate, you nonetheless all have accomplished the completion of degrees and credentials at various levels of study. We therefore celebrate the students who have successfully completed the undergraduate minor, the graduate certificate, and the IPHD programs in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies.

As you know by now, disability studies courses challenge our thinking about difference. As you have heard, we flip our brains. In these courses you are asked to read/watch some dense and unfamiliar resources and consider ways of thinking about disability that are not widely held. Many of you came into the courses thinking about disability as a medical phenomenon,  and have left with vastly different views from disability as social attitudinal, poor fit between body and context, to the extreme of technology yet to be invented. You tackled theory and praxis in many arenas including rehabilitation, reinvention of the human form through cyborg technology and genetic engineering, and denial of human worth through instruments such as assisted suicide. You sharpened your analytic sophistication using forensic analysis to articulate the failures of products, policies, services, and trends as the basis to correct and innovate. And you acquired skills on which to build such that your own academic, professional, and personal lives are accessible to the widest range of people.

You have learned a great deal, we are honored by your work and presence in our lives and in our own learning. Please stay in touch with us.  Congratulations.


Note: The photograph above of Dr. Elizabeth DePoy, Madeline Sanborn (student), and Dr. Stephen Gilson was taken prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias follow federal and state Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health and safety guidance, which currently includes social distancing and use of face coverings.

Congratulations image by HowLettery (istock.com). Standard license.