Chicago—With 60 million members and growing, the disability community is demanding a presence in US society. Academe and medicine are responding.
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) launched last year the nation's first PhD program in disability studies. The program is run by the departments of disability and human development, occupational therapy, and physical therapy in UIC's College of Health and Human Development Sciences.
The interdisciplinary degree is for students pursuing careers in research and in academia. Some of these students will study the political, social, economic, and cultural issues of disability, while others will take a core of courses in those areas and concentrate on how therapies can be more effective.
Carol J. Gill, PhD (foreground), lectures to a group at the University of Illinois at Chicago. (Photo credit: Grant Therkildsen, UIC)
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