Everyone knows that people have their differences. Groups are marginalized, silenced, and oppressed based on who they are, what they believe, and how they express themselves. Diversity encompasses multiple dimensions, including but not limited to the social and political constructions of race, culture, nationality, ethnicity, religion, ideas, beliefs, geographic origin, class, sexual orientation and identities, gender, gender identities and expressions, disability, and age.

Courses with a diversity designation (DV) will give you another view of the world—through the eyes of those different than yourself. You’ll explore current and past injustices and see how those in power can shape public perception of peoples’ differences and how societies can adapt to or resist these definitions. You’ll learn how diversity enriches society, come to understand why groups may hold different views on issues, and open your mind to views beyond your own.


OTBS20600 Culture of Disability

In this course students study the notion of disability as it has been constructed throughout Western history, providing an in depth look at the extent to which disability has been influenced by social, economic, political and historical contexts. Students develop a history timeline of events that have impacted the construction of disability as well as define disability from legislative, economic and other statistical sources. Multiple definitions based on historically embedded events, which have evolved over time are studied setting the background for the development of disability identity. Because disability is never a singular identity, the construction of individual and group identification of disability as a culture separate from or combined with other identities is discussed as well as this impacts power discussions among groups who may typically be disenfranchised (i.e women, people of color and LGBT). Comparisons are made between the impact that these other identity groups have as influencing power structures as compared to those who have disabilities and how the movements have been similar and different on the road to eliminating discrimination.