The Disability Studies Minor is administered through the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies as of July 2018 (formerly housed in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies). The Disability Studies Minor offers students an opportunity to study disability as a category of analysis from an interdisciplinary approach. Students will be exposed to cutting edge theories, methodologies, and debates that explore disability from historical, cultural, political, economic, and social perspectives. Examples of areas of research interests will include disability and the law, disability and theories of sexuality, disability and policy, disability activism, disability movements (local and transnational), disability and race, and disability in literature and art, to name only a few. Disability Studies is an exciting and growing field with endless possibilities for learning.

The Minor consists of two required 0.5 credits in Disability Studies (DBST), 1.0 credit in predetermined courses in Social Work, Human Rights, and Sexuality Studies, and 2.0 credits from approved electives found in the calendar. This program will appeal to those interested in Disability Studies in general and/or to those who plan to work the area of human rights, social work, education, youth health, public policy, and counseling. Students should also use this minor as a specialization to enhance their undergraduate training in the Bachelor of Arts.


Beginning in July 2018, the program will be growing to include additional core requirements and more elective choices.  Currently enrolled students will not be required to fulfill the new requirements unless they choose to update to the new calendar requirements.
Please note that the old Program Requirements – for students who had enrolled in the Minor in Disability Studies in 2017/2018 and prior – can be found here. The PDF file of the old Program Requirements can be found here.
*Please note that DSBT 4001 is no longer offered and will be replaced by DBST 3001.

For all students who declare the minor in 2018/2019 or later, the new requirements are listed below.

Program Requirements (2018/2019)

Minor in Disability Studies (4.0 credits)

The minor is available to all undergraduate degree students.
1.  1.5 credits in: 1.5
DBST 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Disability Studies
DBST 2001 [0.5] Disabling Society
DBST 3001 [0.5] Disability Studies: Policy and Activism
2.  1.0 credit from: 1.0
CHST 3304 [0.5] Disability and Childhood: Transnational Perspectives
HIST 3116 [0.0] History of Disability
HUMR 3304 [0.5] Disability Rights
SOWK 4300 [0.5] Social Work and Persons with Disabilities
SXST 3103 [0.5] Sexuality and Disability
3.  1.5 credits in approved electives at the 1000 level or higher 1.5
4. The remaining requirements of the major discipline(s) and degree must be satisfied.
Total Credits 4.0


  1. Courses used to fulfil Items 2 and 3 above must be from more than one discipline.
  2. Other courses may be substituted for the credits specified in Items 2 and 3, when material on disability is central to the course. Such substitutions must be individually approved by the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS). Students are encouraged to consult course descriptions of Special Topics courses.
Note: access to these courses is not guaranteed, and may depend on space availability and the satisfaction of other requirements such as course prerequisites.
ANTH 3310 [0.5] Studies in Medical Anthropology
ANTH 4780 [0.5] Anthropology of Personhood
Child Studies
CHST 3001 [0.5] Vulnerable Children: Risk, Resilience and Protection
CHST 4000 [0.5] Children, Policy and Practice
First Year Seminars (FYSM)
FYSM 1504 [1.0] Society and the Designed Environment
HIST 3116 [0.0] History of Disability
HIST 3515 [0.5] Madness in Modern Times
Human Rights
HUMR 3504 [0.5] Public Health and Human Rights
HUMR 4305 [0.5] Disability and Social Justice
LAWS 3503 [0.5] Equality and Discrimination
LAWS 3508 [0.5] Health Law
LAWS 4503 [0.5] Law, Disability and Society
PSYC 2301 [0.5] Introduction to Health Psychology
PSYC 2500 [0.5] Foundations of Developmental Psychology
PSYC 3505 [0.5] Exceptional Children
Public Administration
PADM 4221 [0.5] Health Policy in Canada
PADM 4817 [0.5] Health Policy in Developing Countries
Social Work
SOWK 4300 [0.5] Social Work and Persons with Disabilities
SOCI 2050 [0.5] Sociology of Health
SOCI 3050 [0.5] Studies in the Sociology of Health
SOCI 3056 [0.5] Women and Health
SOCI 3220 [0.5] Critical Disability Studies ***
Technology, Society, Environment Studies
TSES 3001 [0.5] Technology-Society Interactions
Women’s and Gender Studies
WGST 2803 [0.5] Body Matters: The Politics of Bodies
WGST 2807 [0.5] Issues in Reproductive Health
WGST 4807 [0.5] Gender and Health in a Globalized World

*** SOCI 3220 Critical Disability Studies (offered by Dr. Kelly Fritsch):

Course Description:
This course traces the relations, discourses, and practices that create, sustain, and reproduce disability, impairment, madness, and chronic illness. Drawing on critical disability scholarship and activism, we will investigate the workings of power and social control, access and accessibility, normalization, ableism, sanism, and medicalization, as well as explore crip, mad, and disabled identity formation, art and culture, political agency, and disability justice.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1001 and SOCI 1002, or SOCI 1003 [1.0], or ANTH 1001, or ANTH 1002, and third-year standing.

Carleton Leads in Accessibility