With 54 million Americans identifying as disabled, UCLA is committed to graduating leaders who will advocate for a world that values the contributions of all individuals, affirms the achievements and life experiences of the disabled, and celebrates the full range of human potential.Disability Studies is a groundbreaking field that challenges and changes society’s attitudes toward disability. Led by some of UCLA’s most distinguished faculty, Disability Studies examines the meaning, nature and consequences of disability from a variety of perspectives, including arts and humanities, health sciences, social sciences, public policy, technology, and education. At UCLA, the conversation around disability has shifted: from exclusion to inclusion, from limitations to possibilities..
Disability—whether physical, mental or intellectual—is part of the fabric of universal human experience, and yet it is often regarded as a deficit to be fixed, cured or hidden, with disabled individuals cast as unfortunate victims. UCLA’s robust Disability Studies program is challenging this view, changing attitudes and redefining ‘normal.’ By exploring disability as a social issue, rather than a medically defined condition, we prepare students to use the experience of disability as a lens to re-envision models of access, inclusion, participation, communication, and equality. The result is graduates with deep insights into the human condition, keen analytical and observation skills, empathy, and capacity for self-reflection—part of a new generation that understands and embraces disability.