»Disability Studies

The group has identified five over-arching themes to both reflect current projects and provide future direction for new collaborative opportunities among group members. All of these themes start with the concept and meaning of disability as an essential marker of human difference and personal experience.

a. History and Cultural Studies

b. Technology and Media  

c. Social Policy, Theory and Ethics

d. Families

e. Education and Community Life

  • Members
  • Research projects
  • Grants/funding
  • Research students
  • Art Blaser, Political Science
    Phil Ferguson, College of Educational Studies
    Kelli Fuery, Honors Program
    Dawn Hunter, College of Educational Studies
    Roberta Lessor, Sociology
    Robert Slayton, History
    Virginia Warren, Department of Philosophy
    Kelly Kennedy, College of Educational Studies
    Jason McAlexander, Disability Services
  • Books:

    • History of the Independent Living Movement, Robert Slayton
    • Writing the Global Family: International Narratives and the Cultural Representation of Disability, Edited book, Phil Ferguson, Janet Sauer (Univ. of Colorado, Colorado Springs), & Dianne Ferguson
    • Post-Conflict Adaptation; Survivors, Obedient Observers and Perpetrators in Cambodia, Angeliki Kanavou & Kosal Path (California State University)

    Articles/Book Chapters:

    • Technology & Media in Disability Studies, Art Blaser & Beth Haller (Towson State)
    • Incarcerating Failure:  The Creation and Use of the “Back Ward” in Early Institutions for People with Severe Intellectual Disabilities. Chapter for book, Phil Ferguson

    Guest Speakers and Colloquia:

    • Planned and coordinated by entire group

    Curriculum Development associated with Disability Studies minor:

    • Blaser and Ferguson
    • National Endowment for the Humanities
    • National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research
    • Chapman Faculty Development and Research Grants
  • Graduate Student Research and Collaboration
    Several of the Disability Studies CRASsH Group (DSCG) faculty members are from the College of Educational Studies (CES). They are core members of the faculty for the Doctoral Program where there is a Disability Studies emphasis area. The DSCG will benefit from the culture of research and faculty/student collaboration that already exists within the the CES doctoral program. This connection will allow immediate and extensive opportunities to build on existing faculty/doctoral student collaboration to go beyond the confines of CES. The DSCG will provide a two-way street of collaboration, with faculty from Wilkinson bringing their own research interests to the doctoral students, and doctoral students introducing their research topics to the faculty beyond the CES.  Wilkinson faculty may be interested in sitting on dissertation committees, collaborating on student research projects, using students to assist with their own research agendas, and involve students in planning and coordination of campus events related to speakers or other Disability Studies events. Each year, a doctoral student in the CES Disability Studies program will be invited to participate in the meetings and planning activities of the DSCG as the official doctoral student representative.


    Developing Undergraduate Minor and BURN group
    Members of the DSCG are actively working on submitting a proposal for an official undergraduate interdisciplinary minor in disability studies. Several self-designed minors in disability studies have already been approved, so an existing interest among students has been demonstrated. The DSCG is also interested in starting a BURN group that would work closely with DSCG faculty and graduate students in a variety of research opportunities.