Invitation to Become an Affiliate Member of the UW Disability Studies Program

The UW Disability Studies Program (DSP) seeks broad involvement and input from individuals who work in the field of Disability Studies, including UW faculty, staff, and graduate students from all three campuses, as well as community members who meet the criteria. Participation in the DSP as an Affiliate Member connects you to the Program through our email list and social media. We will notify you about DSP events and will call for participation in the DSP as guest speakers, student mentors, fundraisers, and participants on committees. Affiliate Members will be listed on the UW DSP website

Individuals who meet the qualifications below and are interested in engaging with the DSP in the ways described are encouraged to submit an application to join the DSP as an Affiliate Member. UW faculty members may also be interested and eligible to participate in the DSP as Core Faculty Members


Disability Studies is a relatively new field spanning all academic, service, and technical disciplines that examine, serve, or work with disabled people.  It recognizes disability as a socially constructed status (akin to race, gender, or citizenship), and acknowledges historical oppression and ongoing marginalization of disabled people. Disability Studies prioritizes the lived experiences and contributions of disabled people in research, teaching, and service work and is guided by the credo, "nothing about us without us."

The DSP is a small but growing program in the UW College of Arts and Sciences. In 2001, UW became one of the first universities to begin regularly offering Disability Studies courses in the United States. In 2005, it began offering Disability Studies as an undergraduate minor, and more recently an Individualized Studies major. Currently, the Disability Studies Program offers four core courses, including an Intro to Disability Studies, two courses on domestic and international disability law, policy, and society, and a capstone course. 


Affiliate Members are non-voting members of DSP but are welcome to serve on committees in advisory roles. Affiliate Members are expected to maintain a relationship with the DSP that supports the DSP’s mission and goals and facilitates their own professional or personal interest in disability studies. To maintain their status, Affiliate Members are asked to participate in at least one service activity per year. Qualifying service activities include:

  • Serve on a DSP Committee
  • Attend the DSP Writing Seminar for one quarter (4 meetings per quarter, currently Thurs evenings via zoom, 6-8pm)
  • Serve as supervisor for Independent Study for one-quarter with either undergraduate DS major or DS Certificate graduate student
  • Teach a course cross listed with DIS ST
  • Attend a DSP event (e.g., student community building event, alumni event, convocation, etc.)

In addition to a service activity, Affiliate Members are expected to support and champion the work of the DSP and disability studies within their respective departments and the broader UW community.

Reporting Requirements

On an annual basis, Affiliate Members will indicate their intent to remain connected with the DSP and will submit brief statements of engagement highlighting their role in supporting the mission of the DSP. We ask that every Affiliate Member submit an annual statement to the DSP Director no later than July 1st.

Review and Renewal

Affiliate Members will be reviewed annually for active engagement by a committee of current Core Faculty members. Review will take place at the end of Spring quarter and will entail a review of affiliate statements. The committee will recommend renewal or removal to the DSP Director who will work with the committee to finalize decisions.  The DSP Director will submit decisions to the DSP Core Faculty for vote. A simple majority of Core Faculty will be required for renewal or removal decisions. The vote will be completed, and Affiliate Members notified, before the beginning of Fall quarter.


Faculty, graduate students and community members who wish to be considered for Affiliate Member status with the DSP should submit the following information:

  • A letter describing their connection to Disability Studies and their reason for wanting to participate as an Affiliate Member of​ DSP. 
  • Their full curriculum vitae or resume.


Please send questions to the DSP Director, Heather Evans at