The interdisciplinary Disability Studies Certificate provides undergraduate and graduate students with the most intensive and focused learning experience at the IHDD. It is designed to supplement degrees granted from academic departments across campus, including those in disability-related fields, such as Special Education, Therapeutic Recreation, or Speech Communication, as well as degrees from departments that do not traditionally offer disability-related content, such as Business, Journalism, and Environmental Design. You will learn about disability as an issue of diversity rather than difference, of strength rather than deficit. Disability is presented as a social construct rather than a characteristic of an individual.


Our Disability Studies Certificate students, also considered IHDD Trainees, are linked into a national network of Interdisciplinary Trainees through IHDD’s affiliation with The Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). This network provides students with an opportunity to connect with the other 4000 trainees nationally as well as to participate in events and listservs, access resources, develop their leadership skills and socially network to build their future careers. Find out more at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities trainees page.

Graduating with the IHDD Disability Studies Certificate will:

  • Allow you to participate in AUCD’s Early Career Professionals group which offers professional benefits and advanced educational opportunities. AUCD’s early career professionals are considered emerging leaders in their fields and are highly sought after by state, national, and international disability organizations.
  • Document your area of specialization in disability issues and allows you to broaden your professional opportunities to include leadership, advocacy and social change.
  • Provide the opportunity to learn from and with students from many disciplines, people with disabilities and their families, and the IHDD Faculty and Faculty Fellows who have recognized expertise in multiple areas.
  • Allow students from disciplines across campus to increase your marketability as professionals by having education and experience related to the largest diversity group in the US.
  • You will have the skills and attitudes needed to serve as leaders in affecting changes in policy and practice in your respective fields. There is a great need for professionals in all disciplines who are aware of issues related to disability and are comfortable interacting with people with disabilities. Disability issues are diversity issues.
  • For students in disability-related fields, you will increase your understanding of the social context of disability that extends beyond the boundaries of specific professions, and increase your capacity to work collaboratively with people with disabilities and their families, advocates, and professionals in multiple fields.
  • Students with disabilities will have the opportunity to explore your identities as men and women with disabilities through the examination of disability as a social construct, with a raised awareness of your history and value as a cultural group. You will have the opportunity to learn from and work with recognized leaders in the Disability Rights Movement at the local, state, and national levels.

Video: Disability Studies at UGA