Located within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), the Center for Disability Studies has
both academic and community goals. It seeks to promote and be a forum for academic research and teaching in the
humanities and social sciences and to facilitate the integration of people with disabilities into the community.
Our Recent Grants:
In spring 2013, the UBCDS received two small grants to help fund its programming for the 2013-2014 academic year: "Disability Studies in the Humanities: A Humanities Institute Research Workshop" and "Writing Disabled Lives: A Cultures and Texts (C&T) UB2020 Strategic Strength Conference."
Digital Humanities Small Research Project Funding, January 2012 An Oral History of the West Seneca Developmental Center (1961-2011), West Seneca, New York
Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Fellowship Program, 2011-2012 An Oral History of the West Seneca Developmental Center (1961-2011), West Seneca, New York
Exploring the Meanings of Citizenship-Promoting Academic Excellence: Disability, Diversity, and History A Programming Grant Submitted by the University at Buffalo Center for Disability Studies, 2011-2012
Disability Studies in the Humanities:
In 2008, the University at Buffalo approved plans for the creation of a new initiative, the Center for Disability Studies (CDS). The CDS adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the study of disability as a social justice concern. The new disability studies program at UB focuses on providing students and interested community members with broad exposure to innovative methodological and theoretical approaches to studying disability primarily in the humanities, with extensive collaboration in the social sciences, education, law, and the health sciences. The disability studies curricula and research agenda is driven by an interdisciplinary focus that seeks to reconstruct and evaluate the broad and diverse experiences of marginalized populations. The Center for Disability Studies focuses on disability as a category of analysis and a lived embodiment and emphasizes the diverse experiences of disabled people in various times and locations.
The Center for Disability Studies at UB seeks to examine how addressing disability in its full complexity can promote the participation, self-determination, and equal citizenship of people with disabilities in society. The program remains open to any student, faculty, administrator, or community member who is committed to studying the complex nature of disability, with all of its implications, as well as more pragmatic measures that can be taken to minimize the negative personal and social consequences of disability. A particular strength of the program is its incorporation of a diverse array of faculty and students from the humanities and the social sciences, as well as community members. The program explores issues that cut across impairment, clinical, social, cultural, ethical, legal, educational, and policy perspectives on disability.
In addition to serving as an intellectual hub for scholars across the university, the CDS also partners with local organizations such as People, Inc. (Western New York’s largest service provider to people with disabilities) and their affiliated Museum of disABILITY History to create programming that strengthens the UB’s ties to the local and regional community. During the few short years of the CDS's existence, we have developed a new M.A. program, organized an annual conference, created, and received funding for, an ongoing multistage, multiyear oral history project, and implemented a speaker series. Our events attract a mixed audience from both within UB (faculty and students alike) and outside of the university in the form of community members and activists.