Society for Disability Studies
The Society for Disability Studies is an international academic network of disability studies practitioners. It often abbreviates its name to SDS, though that abbreviation continues to be used by academics and political scientists to describe the Students for a Democratic Society organization in the United States. The society's overall goal is to promote disability studies as a serious academic discipline on par with philosophy, the social sciences, and similar fields.
Definition of disability studies
In 1993 the society adopted an official definition of "Disability Studies":
... examines the policies and practices of all societies to understand the social, rather than the physical or psychological determinants of the experience of disability. Disability Studies has been developed to disentangle impairments from the myths, ideology and stigma that influence social interaction and social policy. The scholarship challenges the idea that the economic and social statuses and the assigned roles of people with disabilities are the inevitable outcomes of their condition.
Founding and history
The organization was founded in 1982 first as the Section for the Study of Chronic Illness, Impairment, and Disability (SSCIID), and renamed Society for Disability Studies in 1986. Its founders are Daryl Evans, Nora Groce, Steve Hey, Gary Kiger, John Seidel, Jessica Scheer and Irving Kenneth Zola (1935-1994). The Society for Disability Studies is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
The Society maintains affiliation status with the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) through its Chronic Disease and Disability section. Currently, the SDS has hundreds of members both nationally and internationally who continue to make disability studies a part of academic conversations.
Activities and publications
The Society for Disability Studies holds an annual conference in June and publishes a quarterly peer-reviewed journal, the Disability Studies Quarterly. The journal is published exclusively online. SDS has created a good model to follow when approaching publishers about their accessibility.
In 2015, Adam Newman organized the "Digital Access Facilitation Team" (DAFT) to make the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Disability Studies more accessible for a wider range of attendees. DAFT is coordinated by the Society's Student Caucus, whose members are a group of 25-30 students of SDS. Working in teams of two, members of DAFT were live-tweeting every session, contingent upon the consent of presenters. Live-tweeting all sessions and following standards for that emerging media, allowed a new way of producing accessibility for the disability community. In the Society for Disability Studies, there are a number of caucuses which “designate groups that are under-represented within society or SDS as an organization.” DAFT is composed entirely of students (undergraduate, graduate, professional) who work on behalf of the interest and needs of students.
There are several options for membership opportunities, even if someone is unable to pay the membership fees they will not be turned away; "No one is denied membership in SDS due to an inability to pay an established membership fee."
Two awards have been established by the society "to honor individuals who have shown dedication to Disability studies": the Senior Scholar Award and the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies. The Senior Scholar Award is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of disability studies. Past award winners: Devva Kasnitz (2014), Richard Scotch (2013), Carol Gill (2012), Tobin Siebers (2011), Rosemarie Garland Thomson (2010), Elizabeth Depoy and Stephen Gilson (2009), and Steven J. Taylor (2008). On the contrary, the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies is awarded to an up and coming individual who also has made significant contributions to the field of disability studies.
Current Board of Directors 2017–2018
- President and Chairperson - Phil Smith
- Vice-Chairperson - Joanne Woiak
- Treasurer - Carol Goldin
- Secretary - Katherine Caldwell
List of SDS Presidents
Below is a list of the current and past presidents of the SDS.
|1986–89||Irving K. Zola (founder)|
|1989–1990||Daryl Evans (founder)|
- "About SDS - Society for Disability Studies". disstudies.org. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- Simon, Cecilia Capuzzi (2013-11-03). "Disability Studies: A New Normal". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies - University of Calgary". crds.org. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Mission & History | Society for Disability Studies". www.disstudies.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Annual Conference - Society for Disability Studies". disstudies.org. 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Disability Studies Quarterly". dsq-sds.org. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Disability Studies Quarterly - Society for Disability Studies". disstudies.org. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Publishing Accessible Books". Society for Disabilities. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "Digital Access Facilitation Team - SDS 2015 | Adam Newman's Fundraiser". Crowdrise. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
- "SDS Student Caucus". SDS Student Caucus. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
- "join SDS | Society for Disability Studies". www.disstudies.org. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "SDS Awards - Society for Disability Studies". disstudies.org. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "SDS Senior Scholar - Society for Disability Studies". disstudies.org. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "2015-2016 Board of Directors | Society for Disability Studies". www.disstudies.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Founders & Past Presidents | Society for Disability Studies". www.disstudies.org. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
- Monaghan, P. "Pioneering Field of Disability Studies Challenges Established Approaches and Attitudes." Chronicle of Higher Education, (January 23, 1998).
- Ramirez, A. "Disability as Field of Study?" New York Times, 21 December 1997.