Coursework in Disability and Diversity Studies

A basic assumption of our program is that disability is a natural part of life. And that, moreover, our communities are enriched by both the presence of disability and thoughtful responses to it that ensure everybody is treated fairly. We also recognize that such treatment has not always been the case, and the program considers barriers—past and present—including the presence of stigma and discrimination that may limit full participation and access.

To best prepare you as a leader to understand and appreciate disability in culture and work towards addressing inequities, CDS offers undergraduate and graduate coursework in Disability and Diversity Studies as well as a 15-credit (online) Interdisciplinary Certificate in Disability and Diversity Studies. To best meet the needs of students and professionals, all of our courses are offered completely online. Most of the courses are delivered asynchronously, where students complete their work independently, regardless of their own time zone. Participants meet shared deadlines and milestones, communicating with classmates through learning management systems.  Some classes are also synchronous in which students may meet online together live with an instructor.

Regardless of the format, all our courses approach disability from a diversity perspective. This means that disability is viewed as a natural part of a diverse society made up of many kinds of people with many kinds of human characteristics. Our courses provide students with knowledge, skills, and insights to understand and navigate contemporary disability issues.

Note for Out-of-State and International Students: All our courses are offered both as traditional courses and as Outreach Extension courses. Out-of-State and International students should check out our FAQs below for registration options.

Interdisciplinary Certificate in Disability and Diversity Studies

The Interdisciplinary Certificate in Disability and Diversity Studies is a 15 credit graduate level (master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral) program sponsored by the Center on Disability Studies (CDS) in the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). Using an interdisciplinary approach to disability and diversity issues, the program attracts students across disciplines including, but not limited to, education, social work, psychology, computer science, sociology, public health, law, nursing, and political science. Students participate in diverse learning experiences with the goals of acquiring skills in joint planning, decision-making, and goal setting and of understanding contemporary disability issues, research, and effective practices from a social, political, cultural and historical context.