Academics, University of Illinois at Chicago

The Department of Disability and Human Development is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of disability with the goal of removing barriers to the advancement of disabled persons in society. We offer intensive graduate-level academic programs that prepare individuals for positions in research, teaching, and public service in disability fields.

The department conducts scholarship and community-based service across the spectrum of disability, including advocacy, culture, education, health promotion, history, policy, and technology. We provide students with unique opportunities during their education that embrace three principals: interdisciplinarity, education beyond the classroom and links to the disability community.

Interdisciplinary Learning

The DHD department embraces an interdisciplinary student learning experience by encouraging its students to take advantage of attending classes in departments other than DHD such as Occupational Therapy, Education, and Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

Education Beyond the Classroom

DHD students are provided with opportunities to connect with local disability organizations for volunteer and internship opportunities. The Department has also helped students become involved with non-disability related community groups designed to inspire communication and collaboration around disability issues.

Members of the Disability Community

Many students, based on the networking opportunities provided by the Department, have joined or have become active members of disability related organizations. They have done this by serving as board members and/or working directly for organizations. Students have also seized opportunities to share the knowledge they have gained by training others as well as presenting at conferences across the world.

Graduate Studies at DHD

DHD Video Screenshot

Watch a video created by Carli Friedman, a current DHD student, that highlights DHD academic programs and student experiences in the words of current students.

Watch on YouTube »