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.

The 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


Current News

Dr. Gillian Parekh, PhD graduate in the Critical Disability Studies program (2014) at York University has been appointed as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, and is nominated for a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Inclusion, Disability and Education.

Congratulations Gillian!


York University Professor Marcia Rioux, in the School of Health Policy and Management's Critical Disability Studies Graduate Program, is part of Disability Rights Promotion International (DPRI) launch of new strategy to connect people with disabilities with jobs in Bangladesh.


Announcements & Awards

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!


Awards Congratulations

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, PhD Candidate

JoAnn Purcell, PhD Candidate

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!


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