Vision, Passion, Action

Helpful links for Spring 2017 - Winter 2018:

Student Learning Support

Ryerson bookstore

Important dates in Ryerson's calendar.

Priority Enrollment Information for Spring/Summer 2017: PDF version or a Word version.

Course Intentions for Fall 2017-Winter 2018: PDF version or a Word version.

Registration Information for Fall 2017- Winter 2018: PDF version or a Word version.

List of DST 99 Final Projects (Word document).

Course Descriptions

The following 'unofficial' course descriptions will give some flavour of our DST program offerings.

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DST 501 Rethinking Disability On their first day of class, DST 501 students in the summer of 2008 team up with special guest Lorna Renooy

(Intensive on-campus every July)

This foundation course introduces the core ideas students will explore throughout their studies. It immerses students in a highly participatory and provocative encounter with history, social theory, politics, policy, art and culture seen through a disability lens. Course content is designed to reflect the experience of people with disabilities, highlighting the social roots and impact of discrimination, exclusion and marginalization as well as responses of resistance.

(Note: This course must be taken prior to all other core courses in the program).

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DST 502 Disability and the State

This course begins with students' day-to-day experience of "policy", moving towards deeper examination of the underlying values, interests and institutions that shape social and disability policy. Students are guided to make comparisons and connections, looking at historical responses to disability and at contemporary programs and services. Readings and online presentations explore what policy means, why it matters, and what processes and strategies are activated by people with disabilities to influence, shape and reform social policy.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 503 Current Topics in Disability I

This course will provide students with an opportunity to engage in an in-depth examination of specialized and scholarly work within the disability studies field. Content will be chosen by the Instructor based on recent research and trends in the field.

(Format TBD)

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DST 503 Current Topics: Human Rights and Disability

Class photo from Human Rights and Disability, Fall 2008. Adapting a tradition introduced by PEN International, two empty chairs in class were dedicated to Brian Sinclair and Winifrida Rutahiro, providing a constant reminder of the urgency of human rights protection.(Example)

Is equality anything more than a fancy idea? What are the rights of disabled Canadians? How are human rights protected? Do rights on paper make any difference to disabled people's actual experience? These questions provide the starting point for this course. We'll begin with an examination of basic principles and theories of equality, drawing from Canadian case law and legal scholarship to develop a robust understanding of substantive equality and the duty to accommodate. Over the course of the semester, we'll build familiarity with Canadian human rights statutes, cases and enforcement processes as well as with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. We'll work together to demystify legal language and processes, to develop a nuanced understanding of equality, to sharpen skills in human rights analysis and argument and to enliven policy debates that are at the heart of disabled people’s struggle for human rights recognition.

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DST 504 Mad People’s History2009 graduate Megzie Campbell, with the help of two classmates Abiola Balogun and Jeanelle Julian, holds up the quilt she produced to honour Mad People's History in Jamaica.

This course will provide an overview of the history of madness from the point of view of people who were, and are, deemed "mad". The purpose of this course is to place the diverse perspectives of people diagnosed as mad, insane or mentally ill as being of central importance in the history of psychiatry, and to address the question: how madness has been viewed by mad people over the centuries.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 506 Principles and Practices of Accessibility

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) mandates development of enforceable accessibility standards for businesses and organizations to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. This course is for those seeking specialized knowledge of the AODA, accessibility issues and implementation. It covers understandings of disability, issues giving rise to the Act, disability activism and a critical analysis of the new accessibility standards for customer service, built environments, employment, information and communications and transportation.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 507 Disability, Justice and the Good Human Life

Disabled people's lives are shaped by powerful ideologies rooted in moral and political philosophy. Moving beyond medicalized evaluations, this course critically applies conceptions of justice, ethics, morality to issues such as disability discrimination, right-to-die, choice, autonomy, and assisted suicide. In these and other complex debates is the root question: "Do we own our own bodies?"

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 525 Disability, Representation/s and Culture

(Intensive on-campus every July)

This course critically examines representations of embodied difference in mainstream and other media. With particular attention to disability, it queries images from the news, on television, film and the web as they are embedded in the systems of ableist power, privilege and marginalization. To study these images is to reveal their ideological underpinnings, and their intrinsic connection to other categories of identity including class, race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Lecture - 3 hrs

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DST 603 Disability and the Law

This course is constructed around 'fact' situations, illustrative of real-life dilemmas faced by disabled people, their families, advocates and service providers. How to find and use the law will be explored as will the often competing issues of independence, dignity, personal and economic security. Students will analyze when the law may help or hinder, and how it may be changed.

Lecture – 3 hrs

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DST 604 Current Topics in Disability II

This course will provide students with a further opportunity to engage in an in-depth examination of specialized and scholarly work within the disability studies field. Content will be chosen by the Instructor based on recent research and trends in the field.

(Format TBD)

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DST 613 Strategies for Community Building

(Intensive on-campus every July)

Class photo, DST 613, Summer 2007.

This course addresses the importance of community building given the realities of social exclusion and the challenges represented by diversity in the current social, political and economic context in Canada. The starting point is the particular view of reality held by people with disabilities. Students are encouraged to analyze power, inequality and influence before building strategies for action, and to develop a personal ethical stance in which to ground community development practice.

Lecture - 3 hrs

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DST 614 Community, Access and Technology

Students are introduced to assistive technologies, their impact on people with disabilities, models of use, public policy and legislation (local, federal, international). In addition to online readings and exploratory assignments, students participate in online discussion forums and live weekly e-chats with leaders in the assistive technology field. The final project offers students an opportunity to explore a technology of interest in the context of addressing an unmet need or burning issue in their community.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 725 The Politics and Practice of Interventions

In recent years, interventions directed at disabled people have been the subject of debate, controversy and resistance. This course explores these tensions by tracing various approaches to creating change in the lives of disabled people. Students will use sociological analysis, theories of disability/difference, autobiographical knowledge and consultation to critique examples of contemporary interventions and to explore potentially more positive alternatives.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 727 Leadership Practices for Changing Times

This course looks at leadership theory and the challenges of leading in neo-liberal times. It touches on political discourse, public policy and the legislative process. It examines the problem of working across differences and complicates empowerment. Students will meet and talk with leaders from social movements. By the time students complete their assignments, they should be able to imagine themselves as leaders and be better able to assist disabled people in becoming leaders.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 88A/B Research Methods

(combination of on-line and on-campus sessions- 2 semesters).

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of social research and its relevance to disability studies. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills required to plan, conduct and critically analyse research. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods will be explored along with their use in transforming perceptions of disability. Issues of social location and the meaningful participation of people with disabilities in research are discussed.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 99A/B Applied Community Project/ThesisWhat a relief!  Five students pose for a congratulatory photo, after successfully presenting their 2007 DST 99 graduating projects.

(two semesters)

This is the “capstone” course of the Disability Studies program. It provides students with the opportunity to engage in focused scholarly and project work from a disability studies perspective. It must be taken after all other courses. The course will be individually structured for each student in collaboration with a faculty advisor. The orienting question will revolve around how social environments and structures shape the experience of people with disabilities.

(D2L -- offered online).

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DST 80A/B Practicum in Disability Studies

Only students who do not have the equivalent of two years of full-time related work/advocacy experience will be required to take this course. Students accepted into the program without this requirement may apply to be exempt from DST 80A/B if, during their course of studies, they have acquired sufficient work/advocacy experience. This experience will involve work in a community placement involving advocacy, support or community development with citizens with disabilities.

Lab. 21 hrs

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