Centre for Disability Studies, Leeds

| 0 TrackBacks

CDS is an interdisciplinary centre for teaching and research in the field of disability studies at the University of Leeds (England). The Centre incorporates and develops the work of the Disability Research Unit (DRU) and aims to promote international excellence within the field.

The DRU was originally established in 1990 within the Department of Sociology and Social Policy as a research unit for the British Council of Disabled People (BCODP).

From the CDS web site:

Initial research activity focused on institutional discrimination and disabled people in the UK, and on building a case for anti-discriminatory legislation.

The DRU was formally established within the University in 1994, under the direction of Dr Colin Barnes (now Professor of Disability Studies). The Unit expanded, attracting PhD students and researcehrs involved with a wide variety of disability related research projects. Most of this work was concerned with UK policy issues, with the role of disabled people's organisations in policy and service development, and with developing a sociological understanding of the social model of disability.

The DRU also attracted researchers and students from overseas, especially with interests in disability and development in the majority world. An increasing number of international links were formed and the focus broadened to take a more global view of disability issues. During this time, the Unit also developed links with Disabled Peoples' International and the Global Applied Disability Research Network.

We have always viewed research and teaching as linked activities, and members of the DRU contributed actively in the development of disability studies teaching through an undergraduate option course and a dedicated Masters/Post-Graduate Diploma route (more information about these courses is available here.)

Through the 1990s the DRU became widely regarded as an international leader in the field of disability studies, drawing increasing interest and exchange of ideas from around the world. The development of the disability-research internet discussion group (the largest of its kind in the world) was also a key factor in this development.

By 2000, the DRU's tenth anniversary, disability studies had become firmly established as an interdisciplinary field of study within universities and research centres around the world. It now draws increasing numbers of students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds. Recognising these developments, staff and students at the DRU took the decision to develop a more broadly based interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies within the Unviersity - and so CDS was born.

Our approach to research and teaching is grounded in social model approaches, which recognise that disability is above all a form of institutional discrimination and social exclusion, rather than a product of physical difference between individuals. The DRU has been at the forefront of promoting this approach amongst the international research community.

We seek to adopt 'committed' participatory methods in all our work. This is achieved wherever possible by sharing control over the production and dissemination of research - with individual research participants and with democratic organisations controlled by disabled people. Our taught courses draw directly on the experiences and issues raised by the development of the disabled people's movement and the majority of our post-graduate students are disabled people.

We welcome international collaboration and have established many personal and professional links with related groups and institutions, including the World Institute on Disability, the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, the American Society for Disability Studies, the Swedish Wigforss Institute and the French Centre Technique d'Etudes et de Recherches sur les Handicaps et les Inadaptations. We regularly welcome international visitors to Leeds, who come to discuss their own research, to study, to exchange ideas and to present their work at seminars.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.rollingrains.com/mt4/mt-t.cgi/458

Recent Entries

Disabled? No, Just a Bit Stiff.
The connection between Universal Design, aging, and travel continues to surface. A unique "massively multi-player future forecasting role-playing experience" designed…
Universal Design, Development, and Inclusive Tourism (Spanish)
De la revista Rèport Amèricas: Part I: Part II: Rèport Amèricas. Impresiones New Gate Media Editorial Turística, Año VI,…
Busqueda Laboral: Hotel Inclusivo en La Argentina (Spanish)
Noticas de la Argentina con una oportunidade profisional:       Está llegando... UNITE!!! Dejanos saber tu experiencia en un CV.    ¿Estudiaste…
Tools to Aid the Green Travel/Inclusive Travel Convergence
Editor's note: The following excerpt from Marcus L Endicott's blog may contain unfamiliar language but it you stick with it…
Benchmark Games: The Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games
Benchmark Games: The Sydney 2000 Paralympic GamesRichard Cashman and Simon DarcyWith a Foreword by Karen TighePublished in conjunction with…
Tanni Grey- Thompson on Travel
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson takes the world on tour with her in the Mail Online article, "Celeb travel: Tanni Grey- Thompson…
A Proud Member of ENAT
TFA at the Best of Britain & Ireland: 28-29 March 2009
Tourism for All UK will have a stand (No 374) at this exciting new showthat invites you to explore…