Affiliated Graduate Students

We will use this page to introduce you to our lively and engaged graduate community at the University at Buffalo. Below are some of their thoughts about disability studies. Come back often to read the most recent posts!

George Washington"It was not until I ventured into the world of Disability Studies that I found out how important it is for society to understand the plight, the fight and the struggle it has been for persons with disabilities and impairments to receive equal treatment in society. I have a new found respect for Disability Studies and the information I have received in the lectures and projects I was so fortunate to become a part of, I will take and share everywhere I endeavor to broaden my horizons. Professor Rembis has been an exceptional instructor and I feel honored to have been under his powerful and life changing tutelage. It was because of his dedication to our advancement in learning disability studies that I am a better person. The University at Buffalo has a jewel of an instructor in Professor Rembis. It is because of his dedication to instructing students in disability studies that I am a better person. Thank you Professor Rembis for all you have taught me. I will forever be grateful for what you have taught me in the field of Disability Studies." - George Washington, Jr., MA Disability Studies (May 14, 2016)

Alec Frazier"To me, disability studies is a vital part of learning, and a vital part of changing the world for the better. Many people learn about African-American studies, LGBTQ studies, and women's studies. It is only fitting that there be an equally respected field in disability studies. In the disability studies degree offered by the UB CDS, you learn a great deal about disability theory and other social concepts. Professor Rembis is one of the best people to teach disability studies courses, as he focuses heavily on imparting knowledge, and then lets you decide what to do with that knowledge. I have had an immense amount of pleasure learning in his classes and the other classes I have taken to fulfill this degree! I have autism and the number of other diagnoses, a bachelors in political science, and my own disability rights firm. Naturally, I have an intense interest in in civil liberties and independent living for the disabled. Personally, I will be seeking a career field in Washington, DC to use my new knowledge in disability studies to pass measures to make this nation a more inclusive place!" - Alec Frazier, MA Disability Studies (May 14, 2016)

Kimberly Jones"DisAbility Studies is ushering in a new era of how professionals, educators, and society as a whole define normalcy and ability in the new miluemium. It changed how I respond to, organize, and characterize my thoughts about individuals with a disAbility, including how I view and think about myself. The program explores disAbility from multiple areas of different disciplines within the University community. It is one of the few and first programs that offered a collaborative and comprehensive way of teaching its students about the forever changing and challenging world of the disabled. I have personally while in this program gained a wealth of knowledge and information about the laws, technological innovations, advocacy, activism, and social changes that have formed, shaped, and defined my studies around health issues, accessibility barriers, and the discriminatory practices that have displaced so many with disabilities. This program has empowered me to be more confident and helped guide my future career path and endeavors. There is a great future for this program's success, especially with the increase of other departments recognizing and becoming part of a well established inclusive set of professionals who are the next wave of a movement that will bring new views and changes in our present social order, a new standard in what we consider able-bodied; ushering in a new way in how UB has become a leader and how the disAbled are viewed and treated on its campus and in its institutions!" - Kimberly Jones, MA Disability Studies (May 25, 2014)

Maya Hu"The Disability Studies program provides meaningful insight to the world of disability through various social and cultural perspectives. Courses approved under this program challenge conventional and medicalized understandings of the body and mind in order to recognize and promote a more diverse spectrum of humanity. As a service provider for people who have been labeled as disabled, the Disability Studies program has helped to broaden my theoretical understanding of disability; this knowledge has helped me to think critically about progress that has been made and where there remains room for improvement." - Maya Hu, MA Disability Studies (September 2, 2013)

Rebecca Smits"Disability Studies has profoundly altered my perception and understanding of disability. The lived experience of those with disabilities varies from culture to culture and changes throughout time. I have been enlightened on a theoretical, as well as philosophical level about the complexities of disability and the body/mind. I will take my understanding of disability throughout my career serving and assisting individuals with disabilities. Many thanks to Dr. Rembis and Dr. Gerber for creating such a wonderful program!" - Rebecca Smits, MA Disability Studies (May 15, 2013)

Tanja Aho"As a PhD student in American studies, I have found disability studies to be a perfect fit for my research interests. Exploring the intersections of class, poverty, and capitalism with other systems of power that create, sustain, and perpetuate everyday, lived inequalities and systemic forms of oppression, disability studies offers a new and productive path of inquiry that questions ideas of normality, heteronormativity, and ability. The CDS and Dr. Rembis specifically have opened my eyes to the importance of integrating disability studies into all spheres of my academic work, and the many events, seminars, and possibilities for cooperation that are offered through its work at UB have enriched my personal and professional development immensely." - Tanja N. Aho, Ph.D. student American Studies, Department of Transnational Studies (April 22, 2013)

Kathryn Lawton"The strength of disability studies is that it opens your eyes to a large, understudied and important population, and that it provides you with the tools and perspectives that are helpful when studying any 'outsider' group. Realizing that the norm is created (or is a social construction) allows you to understand the construction and experiences of almost any 'other'." -- Kathryn Lawton, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, research assistant UBCDS (June 27, 2012).