Disability Studies



Disability Studies explores the meaning of human difference – how we value some bodies and devalue others, how we accept or resist certain notions of "normal" behavior, function, and appearance. Disability Studies at UToledo offers an undergraduate major, minor, an online graduate certificate, and a variety of affiliated graduate programs including a 4 + 1 MBA Program and a 4 + 2 Juris Doctor.  Disability Studies students have gone on to work in allied health, higher education, nonprofit management, elected office, and studied in graduate programs including Masters in Nursing, Economics, Disaster Planning and Management, as well as law school. 


Professor Jim Ferris pictured with students giving two thumbs up
Caring faculty

Disability Studies faculty are skilled scholars, excellent teachers, and committed to student wellbeing. Learn more about our faculty. 

UToledo Disability Studies students providing information at the Toledo Zoo
Career-Minded Experiences

The Disability Studies Program prioritizes experiences that encourage students to apply their knowledge in the real world and supports students with a network of organizations that have previously hosted Disability Studies interns. 

Photo of a blue and gold cake that reads Label Cakes Not People
Courses that matter

Courses in the Disability Studies Program provide portable skills and the ability to think critically about disability access, inclusion, and human rights. 


What Disability Studies Graduates say

Sarah Millimen 2013 UToledo Disability Studies graduate

"Working as a provider agency that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, being able to evaluate how we support people with disability through a Disability Studies perspective has enabled me to provide supports in a more dignified and rights-focused way. This allows me to challenge systems of oppression, advocate in a more productive way, and help empower people to advocate for themselves. Without the knowledge I have learned as a DST major I feel that I would be complacent and willing to settle for less for the people I support and for my agency."

– Sarah K. Millimen, B.A. in Disability Studies - 2013 


Kaycee Gravenhorst Knapp 2019 UToledo graduate with minor in Disability Studies

"Minoring in disability studies was one of the best decisions I've ever made! It paired perfectly with my speech pathology major, and has definitely made me better at what I do. Not to mention, the department has some of the best faculty UToledo has to offer! They really go above and beyond for their students.”

– Kaycee Gravenhorst Knapp, Minor in Disability Studies - 2019 



 What Our Current Students Say

Strong Community Partnerships

The UToledo Disability Studies program partners with organizations like the Ability Center, which "advocates, educates, partners, and provides services supporting people with disabilities to thrive within their community." More than half of its employees and board of trustees members are individuals living with disabilities.




Contact us about the major or minor if you have any questions, or if you would like to discuss your options.
Kim Nielsen, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Chair of Disability Studies

Last Updated: 6/27/22