IDS Course Descriptions

Students may enroll in individual courses, DIS 300, 400, 450, 480 and 490 as electives or in the Minor Interdisciplinary Disability Studies.

For complete information about Interdisciplinary Disability Studies, visit the coordinator at 201 Corbett Hall, or contact Prof. Stephen Gilson at stephen.f.gilson@maine.edu, phone 207.581.1263, or 207.581.1084; Fax: 207.581.1231.

Undergraduate IDS Course Descriptions:

DIS 300 Disability: Interaction of Human Diversity and Global Environment

This course is designed to raise awareness and introduce students to disability from progressive and contemporary diversity perspectives. Students are introduced to an overview of disability history, theory, and current thinking in the field of disability studies before focusing on historic and current terms for population descriptors including normal, abnormal, crippled, deficient, impaired, challenged, and diverse. Students scrutinize the variation in characteristics and theoretical explanations that are grouped to form the disability population and examine the reciprocal interaction of disability populations with economic, physical, social, political, cultural, and spiritual environments. Finally, students identify how disability is conceptualized differently in varied contexts and analyze how disability fits within contemporary discourse of human diversity. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None. Satisfies the General Education Population & Environment requirement.
DIS 400 Disability as Diversity I

This course critically examines contemporary disability theory and locates it within the larger discourse on diversity. Through interdisciplinary interchange and experiential learning, students will explore the lived experience of people with disabilities and their families across the lifespan, examine and debate ethical dilemmas related to disability, and analyze implicit disability related values reflected in diverse academic and professional fields. Students will apply their learning to their own areas of interest and scholarship. Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None. Satisfies the General Education Ethics Requirement and General Education Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirement.
DIS 450 Disability: Population—Environment Diversity

Consistent with contemporary literature and research in the interdisciplinary field of disability studies, students will examine and analyze disability as an interactive disjuncture between the environment, the human body and population groups. Students will analyze how environments shape and are shaped by disability and will focus on realigning bodies, populations, and environments to advance full participation, reduce personal and environmental harm, and preserve just and safe environments. Included will be natural, virtual, service, economic, social, policy, and community environments across the globe. Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None. Satisfies the General Education Population and the Environment Requirement.
DIS 470 Interdisciplinary Project In Disability Studies

The disability project provides the opportunity for students to apply knowledge about disability to the actualization of a disability-related project in the student’s area of interest. With guidance from the DIS 470 instructor and the student’s advisor, students may participate in ongoing projects or identify new disability-related areas for project activity. Students may take this course to complete the requirements for the disability studies concentration or to work with guidance on a project of interest. The course provides the opportunity for collaboration across disciplines. Credits: 1-6 (depending on requirements and/or interest).

Prerequisites: DIS 400 & 450, or by permission.
DIS 480 Independent Project in Disability Studies

Individual work on a topic or problem selected by the student. Primarily for students in the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Disability Studies. Credits: 1-6

Prerequisite: DIS 400 or by permission of instructor.
DIS 490 Selected Topics in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies

Faculty and students identify and work on selected topics and/or problems related to the area of disability. Focuses on related literature, research, services/supports and materials. Credits: 1-6

Graduate IDS Course Descriptions:

DIS 500 Contemporary Disability Theory

Critically examines historical and contemporary context of disability and analyzes the emergence of disability as a contemporary category of human diversity. Identification and analysis of the political, social, economic, intellectual, and technological trends relevant to disability rights. Analyzes universal principles as the next paradigmatic framework for the promotion of socially just community responses to diversity and difference. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: DIS 400
DIS 520 Disability: Advanced Interaction of Human Diversity and Global Environments

Examination and analysis of the service, support, and community contexts in which people with disabilities live, work, and participate. Distinction between and analysis of the concepts of accommodation and universal design/access. Critical examination of service and community responses to diversity and difference. Collaborative leadership strategies to improve inclusion and social justice for all people including those with disabilities. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None
DIS 530 Disability Policy

Analyze the historical context of current disability policy. Critically examine the major federal legislative policies that guide disability responses. Apply, compare, and contrast multiple models of policy analysis to the examination of policy and identification of needed policy change and policy advocacy. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None
DIS 550 Research Seminar in Disability Studies

Provides the opportunity to apply knowledge and skill of design and methods to inquiry related to disability, diversity, and universal principles. Examination of current literature and scholarship and formulation of research questions and methods to address disability, diversity, and related inquiry. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: permission of instructor

DIS 570 Master’s Interdisciplinary Project in Disability Studies

This course provides the structure and process in which, with supervision by course faculty, students will conduct a project requiring advanced study in a topic or problem in disability studies. The project may be carried out by an individual or small group of students. Students work with their disciplinary advisors and the course faculty to specify a project, format and product. Credits: 3-6

Prerequisite: permission of instructor

DIS 590 Selected Topics in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies

This course is designed to explore selected topics related to interdisciplinary disability studies. The course will designate varied specific problem/content areas for advanced study. These may include theory, policy issues, product and service responses, technological responses, film, literature, art, social media and other emergent areas relevant to disability. Possible outcomes might include product, policy, service and other innovations. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: permission of instructor

DIS 670 Doctoral Interdisciplinary Project in Disability Studies

This course provides the structure and process in which students will conduct a project requiring advanced study in a topic or problem in disability studies. The project may be carried out by an individual or small group of students supervised by disability studies faculty. Students may also work with both their disciplinary advisors and the course faculty to specify a project, format and product. Credits: 3-6

Prerequisite: By permission of instructor
DIS 671 Interdisciplinary Project in Disability Studies II

Opportunity for students to continue to apply theory and research knowledge about disability to leadership in disability scholarship, policy, and/or related practice in the student’s area of interest. With guidance from the DIS 671 instructor and the student’s advisor, students will continue and complete the independent or collaborative project initiated in DIS 670. Credits: 3

Prerequisite: DIS 670
DIS 680 Independent Study in Disability Studies

Individual work on a disability related topic or problem selected by the student and approved by a Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies faculty member. Credits: 1-6

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
DIS 690 Selected Topics in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies

Advanced study of topics and/or problems related to disability studies. Focuses on related literature, research, and services/supports. Credits: 1-6

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.