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, Deadlines & Upcoming Events


Current News & Announcements

CDS MA graduate Tamia Knight speaking on Breakfast television on behalf of the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Fall 2020 Convocation

On behalf of the School of Health Policy and Management, we extend a congratulatory message to the following graduate students in Critical Disability Studies for completing their degree requirements by the deadline. 

Thank you to the faculty supervisors, advisors, and committee members for your support in the graduate supervision process.   

As you may know, the COVID-19 pandemic created Zoom defences and postponed an in-person celebration.  In October, York Convocation contacts graduands for a special ceremony that will take place online. Details are yet to be released to them.

Doctor/Doctorate of Philosophy

Evelyn Kissi

Estee Klar-Wolfond

Josephine Purcell

Master/Magisteriate of Arts

Billie Anderson

Yaalini Arulanantharajah

Tsz Cheung

Sabine Fernandes

Holly Harris

Kameel Khan

Habiba Rahman

SK Sabada

Alexander Sam

Hassan Sesay

James Tavares

  • July 2020 The same biography of Alice G. (from May 2020 below) by Professor Geoffrey Reaume was selected by readers in July 2020 as one of the entries in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography that “showcase the lives of folks who are not normally included in history classes or dominant historical narratives."
  • May 2020 A biographical entry written by Professor Geoffrey Reaume about Toronto Insane Asylum inmate labourer Alice G. (1854-1938), published by the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (DCB) in 2016 was listed as one of the "Favourite Five" entries in the DCB by General Editor, David A. Wilson.
  • May 2020 Professor Geoffrey Reaume was interviewed by fellow historian, Samantha Cutrara, in a series on "Pandemic History Teaching," during which he addressed disability and pandemics, past and present.
  • April 2020 The following article by Professor Geoffrey Reaume was reported by the publisher, Wiley, to have been “among the top 10% most downloaded papers” in the journal in which it appeared between January 2018 to December 2019: “Creating Mad People's History as a University Credit Course since 2000,” New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development 31:1 (Winter 2019): 22-39.
  • February 2020 Professor Geoffrey Reaume was a guest researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden from February 16-22 at the invitation of the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies and the Department of Social Work. Professor Reaume gave four presentations on Mad People's History, Mad Studies and Critical Heritage Studies with the main public lecture being held on February 18. See report from Sweden's Critical Heritage Studies web site.


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