Disability Studies (Minor)

This program was approved for students entering the university in the Summer 2024–Spring 2025 catalog year. For more information about catalog year, go to Catalog Year Information.

Minor in Disability Studies

Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Department: Liberal Studies
Academic Plan Code(s): DISAMINOR

The  minor in Disability Studies, housed within the Liberal Studies Program of the College of Arts & Sciences, seeks to provide students with a rich understanding of disability as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon. Utilizing the expertise of the Department of Special Education, Early Childhood & Prevention Science (College of Education and Human Development) and the departments of Philosophy, Sociology, and Classical and Modern Languages, the program introduces students to the diverse world of disability and accessibility. It delves into disability's intersections with education, society, language, culture, and ethics, promoting an inclusive view of human experiences.

The main learning objectives include fostering critical thinking about the societal constructs of disability, understanding the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities, and promoting advocacy for accessibility and inclusion. Students will acquire skills in critical analysis, interdisciplinary research, and effective communication. They will also gain knowledge about the historical and contemporary challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, the philosophical underpinnings of disability rights, and the social aspects of disability discourse. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to increase their cultural knowledge and understanding of the Deaf community and to be introduced to the field of special education. 

Program Requirements

Select one of the following, two core courses: 13
Philosophy of Disability
Sociology of Disabilities
Select one Education course from the following:3
Introduction to Exceptional Children
Classroom Behavior Management
Teaching Individuals with Physical, Health and Multiple Disabilities
Autism: Science, Culture and Identity - SB
Legal Issues in Special Education
Select one Sociology course from the following:3
Diversity and Inequality
Medical Sociology
Sociology of Disabilities 2
Select one Interpreter Training course from the following:3
Introduction to Deaf Culture - D1, SB
Historical Perspectives on the Deaf Community - WR
Select one Philosophy course from the following:3
Medical Ethics
Feminist Medical Ethics - D1, AH
Philosophy of Disability 3
Health and Social Justice
Select either one course from the following list or any course from the categories listed above (Education, Sociology, Interpreter Training, Philosophy). Please note that the same course cannot be used to fulfill multiple requirements.3
Power, Oppression & Liberation in Social Systems
Policy and Systems of Power
Medical Anthropology
Minimum Total Hours18

It is recommended that, if possible, students take both of these classes, one as a core course and the other as an area requirement.


If taken as a core course for the minor, it cannot fulfill the Sociology area requirement.


If taken as a core course for the minor, it cannot fulfill the Philosophy area requirement.

Students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average in the minor program for its successful completion.

Students pursuing the minor are encouraged to take ASL 101 and ASL 102.

At least three (3) semester hours of the requirements for a minor must be successfully completed while enrolled in the University of Louisville.