This award honors Dennis Lang, a co-founder of the UW Disability Studies Program, for his dedication and service in the creation and growth of the UW Disability Studies community and program. It was established by the generous support of the University of Washington's Disability Studies community. 

The Dennis Lang Award is a merit-based monetary award for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington who demonstrate promise in the field of Disability Studies. The award goes to students who embody Dennis' spirited commitment to and academic excellence in the field of Disability Studies. Award amounts range from $200-500 depending upon the fund's performance and the number of individuals selected to receive the award. 


Enrolled UW undergraduate or graduate students (from any UW campus) with a demonstrated interest in disability studies.

What Determines an Outstanding Nominee?

  • Demonstrate a spirited commitment to and academic excellence in disability studies.
  • Demonstrated evidence of commitment to issues of social justice as they relate to people with disabilities (e.g., work, volunteer or activist experiences, academic outreach).
  • Involvement on campus disability community through advocacy/activism or scholarship.
  • Advocacy should not be limited to just UW campus; recipients should demonstrate clear application of what they’ve learned in Disability Studies to the broader community.
  • Be an active member of the UW disability studies program and engage in scholarship or activism that advances disability studies as a scholarly field.

How May the Award Funds be Used?

The award is not restricted. In the past, awardees have used the funds for a range of activities (e.g., travel to conferences, support for academic research projects, development or support for activist endeavors, assistance with accessibility issues, other academic/activist goals pertaining to disability studies). 


Students may be nominated by UW faculty, staff, or other students. Nominations will be accepted from community members as well. 

Nominees will be invited to submit a brief statement covering any of the following:

  • A short description of their work in their own words.
  • Their approach to the work and how they perceive it fitting into Disability Studies and/or disability advocacy more broadly.
  • The connection between their personal experiences and the work they are doing.
  • Anything else they want the committee to know (about them or their work).

Nominations must be received by May 1, 2023. Personal statements must be submitted by May 16, 2023. Announcement of the award winner(s) will be made by May 30, 2023. If you have questions, contact Mark Harniss (