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Continuing Education

Disability Studies in Education: Investigating the Social Model for Disability and it’s Implications for Education

Date: July 15, 2019

Every educator will encounter disabled students and grapple with how to successfully foster learning and inclusion in diverse classes. This online course introduces Disability Studies, a liberation movement discipline that offers unique insight into these endeavors, and aligns inclusion for disabled students with multi-cultural education and other diversity initiatives.

Through assigned readings and communal online discussion among professional peers, we will investigate philosophical, pedagogical, and pragmatic approaches to inclusion, equity, diversity and academic standards as they pertain to disabled students.

Teachers, counselors, administrators, specialists, psychologists, and academics should all emerge from this course with the intellectual framework, historical context, and practical skills to deepen their professional practice and help promote social justice—both within the sphere of education and in the wider world.


Week 1: What is Disability? The social vs. the medical model.
Week 2: Historical Perspectives: The disability rights movement, and emergence of Disability Studies as a scholarly discipline/area of research.
Week 3: Disability Narratives in Education: Legal framework, school culture, and classroom practice.
Week 4: Nothing About Us without Us: Lived experience narratives and counter-culture activity.
Week 5: Course Reflection: How Disability Studies in Education informs practice, Universal Design, embracive vs. remedial instruction, disability and diversity, inclusion successes and challenges, future directions.

Students will be expected to complete assigned readings and post written responses to an asynchronous discussion forum three times per week, but may do so on any three days and times of the week that best fit their schedule. 

Course Details & Registration

Dates: Monday, July 15 - Monday, August 19, 2019, Online
Instructor: Denise Herrenbruck

Graduate Continuing Education Credit: CEED-866-23, 1 semester hour, $350 (generally considered equivalent to 30 Professional Development Units for licensure requirements or salary scale advancement in education) Please register no later that July 5th

Continuing education credit registration form (PDF)

  • *Please note: Completed registration forms containing social security numbers and/or credit card information should not be submitted via email. If you choose to pay by credit card, please mail or fax your registration to the Center for Community Engagement, using the contact information on the right-hand side of this webpage.

About the Instructor 

Denise Herrenbruck has worked at the forefront of inclusive education for 35 years. After earning her Master’s degree and dual general/special education licensure at Teachers College, Columbia University, she moved to Berkeley, California – a center of Disability Rights Movement activity—and began her career as a teacher, resource specialist, district special education program manager and adjunct college instructor in the 1980s and 1990s. After moving to Portland Oregon in 2000, she became an online instructor for UCLA Extension and University of San Diego, where she taught teacher licensure courses on inclusive practices for twelve years before coming to Lewis and Clark. Denise is passionate about Disabilities Studies in Education as a liberation movement discipline that best informs inclusive practice and dovetails with multicultural education. She enjoys guiding students to clarify and strengthen their own passion and purpose as educators.


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