The Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies is a joint program initiative of the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. This is the first graduate program of its kind in Canada. Experts from community disability organizations are also involved in the course delivery as guest speakers, lecturers or facilitators as provided for by University regulations.
The objectives of this program in Disability Studies are as follows:
- To promote interdisciplinary work in Disability Studies
- To provide graduate students with an opportunity to apply their undergraduate degrees and work experience to an interdisciplinary Master’s degree program in Disability Studies
- To meet the demand from students, staff and organizations for persons with disabilities for an interdisciplinary graduate program in Disability Studies
- To facilitate and encourage the involvement of leaders in the disability community and at the University of Manitoba to be educators, researchers and decision makers
- To enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities
- To promote greater access to the University for persons with disabilities.
The Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Disability Studies program allows the pursuit of interdisciplinary graduate education in this area. It also accommodates students from other faculties and professions who are interested in enhancing their knowledge in the field. The program presents a core body of courses in the field of Disability Studies, while at the same time, providing a broad complement of discipline-specific electives in other departments and faculties.
There is a diverse group of faculty members at the University of Manitoba with expertise in Disability Studies. They are in Architecture, Community Health Sciences, Economics, Education, Family Studies, Medical Rehabilitation, Medicine, Nursing, Physical Education and Recreation, Social Work, Sociology and Women’s Studies.
Diane Driedger is currently Assistant Professor, Disability Studies. Diane Driedger has published ten books, including The Last Civil Rights Movement: Disabled Peoples’ International (Hurst, St. Martins, 1989). Her most recent book is a co-edited reader: Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader (CSPI, 2018). She has edited or co-edited four anthologies by women with disabilities. She is also a poet and visual artist. Diane was the Provincial Coordinator of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities, 2010-13. She has been involved in the disability rights movement for over 30 years, which included working with Disabled Peoples’ International, Council of Canadians with Disabilities and DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN-RAFH) Canada. Diane also worked with disabled people’s organizations in Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago through CUSO and CESO. Her PhD is in Education from the University of Manitoba.
Nancy Hansen, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. Nancy obtained a PhD (Human Geography) from the University of Glasgow. Her research interests in disability studies are varied including; disability in spaces of culture education, literacy social policy, employment healthcare access and experiences of disabled and LGBTQ communities in post-conflict areas. Nancy is a former member of the Member CAUT Working Group Academics with Disabilities and Equity Committee and former President of the Canadian Disability Studies Association. Nancy received an Einstein research fellowship examining Disability Studies and the Legacy of Nazi Eugenics. Nancy also received the ICUF Sprott Asset Management Scholarship examining disability history. She is co-editor of the Routledge History of Disability and Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader. In addition, Nancy has written numerous book chapters and contributed to various international academic journals. Most recently, in academic presentations and articles featured in mainstream media outlets, Nancy has highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the daily lives of disabled people and the potential influence that outdated and stigmatized beliefs may have on restricting their access to medical care.