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My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

-Desmond Tutu

Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Minor

About the Program

The purpose of the Interdisciplinary Disability Minor is to prepare undergraduate students to apply their unique disciplinary skills to work with and support individuals with disabilities and their families to become fully engaged members of their communities, achieving independence, productivity, and quality of life. Additionally, the purpose of the minor will be to prepare students to work in an interdisciplinary service delivery environment. A secondary purpose is to create a core group of interdisciplinary faculty to work collaboratively with students on issues related to disability. The 18 credit hours curriculum will consist of two required 4-credit courses; two elective 4-credit courses, and a 2-credit Independent Study course.

Specifically, the minor includes the following:

  • Required: EDUC 750: Introduction to Exceptionality (4 credits) OR RMP 550 Perspectives on Disability (4 credits)
  • Required: HHS 798: Topics in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Introduction/ Interdisciplinary) (Fall semester) (4 credits)
  • Elective Course: Issues in disability related to children (chosen from a list of acceptable courses) (4 credits)
  • Elective Courses: Issues in disability across the life span (chosen from a list of acceptable courses) (4 credits)
  • Independent Study (2 credits)

The proposed minor will offer students a unique opportunity to explore disability from several vantage points. First, students will be presented with an overview of the disability experience including the types of societal barriers individuals face, service delivery systems, disciplinary perspectives, current research, and relevant legislation. Second, self-advocates and family members will be actively involved in several of the required courses to present the experience of disability from their perspectives. Third, students will learn the various support roles played by individuals from disciplines such as communication sciences and disorders, education, family studies, kinesiology, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, recreation management and policy, and social work. Finally, students will experience first hand the impact of policy, interdisciplinary practice, and consumer perspectives through an independent study project.


Required Courses (8 credits)

EDUC 750*: Introduction to Exceptionality (4 credits) OR
RMP 550* Perspectives on Disability (4 credits)
HHS 798: Topics in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Fall semester) (4 credits) (Introduction/Interdisciplinary)

Electives (8 credits)

Elective Courses related to Disability and Children:
EDUC 760: Introduction to Young Children with Disabilities (4 credits)
HHS 740: Collaborative Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs (4 credits)
KIN 781: Inclusion in Physical Education (4 credits)
NUTR 740 Nutrition for Children with Special Needs (2 credits)

Elective Courses Related to Disability Across the Life Span:
OT 722: Introduction to Assistive Technology (4 credits)
OT 751: Mind Body Systems/Neurologically Based Function and Dysfunction) (4 credits)
OT 685 Psychosocial Disorders and Everyday Life (4 credits)
RMP 501: Recreation Services for Individuals with Disabilities (4 credits)
EDUC 754 Contemporary Issues in Developmental Disabilities (4 credits)
SW 897: Person-Centered Planning for People with Developmental Disabilities (4 credits)
SW 712: Social Work and Developmental Disabilities (4 credits)
HHS 798: Topics in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Spring semester) (4 credits) (Advanced)
XXX Inquiry Course in Disability (To be submitted) (4 credits)

Independent Study (2 credits)

The purpose of the Independent Study is to explore a topic that provides a detailed focus on an important issue related to individuals with disabilities. For example, a student may choose to conduct a policy analysis of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education and Improvement Act of 2004 that focuses on early intervention services to infants and toddlers. A student may also choose to engage in a small-scale research project to investigate an issue that affects individuals with disabilities. Each project will be negotiated with the student’s departmental faculty advisor and the coordinator of the minor program.

Please Note: Additional elective courses can be added in the future as deemed appropriate.

(* Note: If a student takes both EDUC 750 and RMP 550, then one of the courses could be considered an elective.)

Contact Information

Therese Willkomm, Ph.D. ATP
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Occupational Therapy
College of Health and Human Services
Hewitt Hall
Durham, NH 03824


UNH Institute on Disability
10 West Edge Drive
Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824
phone: 603.862.4320
relay: 711
fax: 603.862.0555
Contact the IOD