Disability studies is an exciting new field for college students that examines the knowledge and understanding of disabilities. There are a number of reasons to make this field of study your college degree choice, and here are five of them.
1. New Disabilities Are Being Discovered
As technology develops and science explores more and more about the human body, we are also gaining a greater understanding of what constitutes “normal” and what does not. New disabilities get classified by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and other organizations every few years and old ones can be reclassified or no longer considered a disability at all. With new discoveries being made all the time, the true depth of this field is nowhere close to being reached.
2. The Public Now Has A Greater Understanding Of Certain Disabilities
Certain disabilities, particularly mental ones, are only just now becoming understood by the general public, and there is still a lot of stigma. A good example of this is Asperger’s Syndrome, which was and is commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD. More and more books are being written about this condition and more people with it are speaking out so everyone else can begin to understand them. People with disabilities can need help fitting into society and society may need help accepting people with disabilities. Because the general public has already started to gain a greater understanding of disabilities, you can continue that trend by educating and helping society come to accept and understand the needs of disabled individuals.
3. It’s A Broad Degree
Students who get a degree in disability studies have many different options for a professional career. You could work for non-profits, the government or the private sector. You could work in healthcare and get an advanced medical degree if necessary to make working with the disabled your specialty. You could go on to get a law degree and fight for the rights of the disabled in the courts. There is even a lot of potential for crossover study of issues being faced by disabled people who are also members of other minorities, like women or African-Americans. But the degree is not so broad that students will have a hard time finding work – it is definitely a niche specialization. This makes disability studies a rather balanced degree and a solid choice.
4. There’s Never A Dull Moment
The interesting thing about disabilities is that they manifest differently and to differing degrees in different people. Someone who has been blind their whole lives, for example, will have different needs than someone who was blinded in a car accident at age fifty. Most people, for that matter, face some degree of disability as they get older, and some disabilities can be moderated or even done away with entirely. In short, having a disability can be very subject to change, so choosing disability studies means your career will never know a dull moment.
5. You Can Fight For Justice
Choosing a degree in disability studies doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be caring for the day-to-day needs of the disabled or working to understand conditions that are considered disabilities. Disability studies is the cumulation of our collective understanding that people with disabilities are a legitimate minority group that does not necessarily need “fixing.” With this understanding and knowledge, you can go forth into the world to help disabled people understand themselves better and embrace themselves. Perhaps you will be a lobbyist and draft legislation to prevent continued discrimination against disabled individuals, or teach those with disabilities how to stand up for themselves and make their unique needs known.
Related Resource: 20 Best Deals on Colleges for Disability Studies
Disability studies is a fascinating new field of study that didn’t exist twenty years ago, and the specifics of the field and each individual case are always changing. That makes the choice of disability studies a great one for students who want to help others, fight for social justice and understand something that has not been well-understood before.