Our program contributes to emerging research examining the systemic barriers to the full societal inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies offers courses, research and professional training leading to an MA and PhD.

a critical disability studies Master's student with a poster presentation from one of her coursesThe MA program takes an interdisciplinary approach informed by various academic fields including law, anthropology, health studies, history, geography, economics, education, labour studies, political science, social work, sociology, identity politics, gender studies, and refugee and immigration studies. Theories of human rights form the basis for understanding how existing legal, economic and social rationales for inclusion relate to systemic barriers and oppression.

The program is offered full or part-time to students from a variety of backgrounds, including persons with disabilities engaged in the disability rights movement, government bureaucrats, professionals in the field of disability and people working in non-governmental organizations such as community organizations and advocacy groups.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend refereed conferences, publish in refereed journals and produce op-ed pieces right from your first year.

The PhD, a pioneering program in Canada, offers a comprehensive curriculum covering major scholarly perspectives. It is offered on a full-time basis only

The program structure and environment encourages advanced research, new scholarship and other opportunities to contribute to the field, enabling a multi-disciplinary group of students to explore disability from a critical perspective in relation to social policy, social justice, human rights issues, and social movements in Canada and internationally.

Important Dates and Deadlines

OCGS Review Results

We are pleased to announce that the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) has approved the recommendation of the Appraisal Committee that our MA/PhD program be classified as Good Quality - the best possible rating bestowed by OCGS!


Congratulations to PhD student Estée Klar-Wolfond for winning a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) award for her doctoral research titled "Enacting intra-enthnography for inclusive autism pedagogy."

Tammy Bernasky and JoAnn Purcell, PhD students in Critical Disability Studies have been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). The OGS is awarded to eligible students who pursue graduate studies in order to complete a Master's degree, PhD or Doctorate at a university in Ontario who maintains a minimum academic standard of an "A-" or 80% average over two years of study.

Congratulations Tammy and JoAnn on your identified skills and academic ability!

Critical Disability Studies doctoral student Yvonne Simpson launched her signature program, RISE— Race, Inclusion, and Supportive Environments— February 9th at York's Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion. Yvonne is the originator of this holistic approach to rights and equity education, and is the founding co-chair of the RISE Committee, along with Associate Professor Lorne Foster of the School of Public Policy and Administration.

Our Masters student, Patricia Kierans has recently been named the  2016-17 recipient of the Tom Arnold Scholarship in Parking Industry Advancement.


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