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Stony Brook University

Disability Studies


Disability Studies refers generally to the examination of disability as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon. In contrast to clinical, medical, or therapeutic perspectives on disability, Disability Studies focuses on how disability is defined and represented in society. It rejects the perception of disability as a functional impairment that limits a person’s activities. From this perspective, disability is not a characteristic that exists in the person or a problem of the person that must be “fixed” or “cured.” Instead, disability is a construct that finds its meaning within a social and cultural context. 

-Alan Foley, Syracuse University



Disability Studies Quarterly

Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities, disability rights advocates, creative writers, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities. 


The Review of Disability Studies

The Review of Disability Studies (RDS) is a peer-reviewed academic journal that is targeted towards any person interested in disability studies. 


Learning Disability Practice

UK-based journal concerned with issues relating to disability studies.


Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability

JIDD is an international, multidisciplinary journal in the field of intellectual and developmental disability. JIDD publishes substantive original research from both established and newer academic disciplines (such as sociology and geography) that address the situation and concerns of people with intellectual disabilities, and their families and staff.


Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal integrating and coordinating basic and applied research relating to individuals who are deaf, including cultural, developmental, linguistic, and educational topics.


American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Focuses on topics related to intellectual disability and related developmental disabilities, including studies of new teaching approaches, program developments, public policy issues, etc.


Disability Statistics - Online Resource for U.S. Disability Statistics (Cornell University)

Information on the population size and disability prevalence for various demographic subpopulations, as well as statistics related to employment, earnings, and household income.

Since the mid-1980s, the Institute for Community Inclusion has collected data from state intellectual and developmental disability agencies, the vocational rehabilitation system, and community organizations in order to describe trends in day and employment services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium is a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies together in one place. When working on legislative and other matters relating to persons with disabilities, the Compendium will make finding and using disability statistics easier.


Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures and Context

An interdisciplinary collection of primary texts and images on physical and cognitive disability in the long nineteenth century (c. 1780 to 1914). 


Disability History Museum Library

DIGITAL - Documents and Visual Stills are associated with the cultural and social history of people with disabilities across the lifespan and diagnosis categories. The records here illuminate everyday practices, dominant ideologies, and alternative perspectives. You will find individual voices as well as the opinions and rhetoric of groups. Most, but not all, of the Collections' records were produced in the United States from 1800 to the present.


Museum of disABILITY History

The Museum of disABILITY History is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum’s exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery. (Includes Virtual Museum)


National Archives - Americans with Disabilities Act

The National Archives holds many records that relate to American citizens with disabilities.  From personal letters to historic legislation, these records provide insight into efforts over the past century to establish programs and to protect the rights of people with disabilities.


It's Our Story

It's Our Story is a national initiative to make disability history public and accessible; we've collected over 1,300 video interviews from disability leaders across the country since 2005. Now, we're making this critical aspect of American history public, accessible and interactive.


Disability Voices

From the British Library - Oral history interviews that chart the experiences of disabled people. The interviews are historical documents and their language, tone and content might in some cases reflect attitudes that could cause offense in today’s society.



National Organization on Disability

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the full participation and contributions of America’s 57 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Today, the National Organization on Disability focuses on increasing employment opportunities for the 80-percent of working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. 


National Council on Disability

NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of Presidential and Congressional appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chair, and a full-time professional staff.

About the Libraries

Our collection includes over 2 million books and e-books, over 100,000 e-journals; over 600 databases, and another 3.8 million titles in microforms.

Materials & Circulation

Fines & Fees

Interlibrary Loan

Wifi & Web-Based Printing

Sinc Sites

The North Reading Room (Science & Engineering Library), Central Reading Room, and Music Library are on the 1st floor of Melville Library. The Main Stacks entrance is on the 3rd floor. There are several Branch Libraries on campus as well.

Special Collections & University Archives is located on the 2nd floor of Melville Library. Schedule an appointment to see the extensive collection of manuscripts, rare books, newspapers, and more.

The Health Sciences Library is located on the East Campus. You have access to their collection, both in print and online.

Getting Help

Libraries & Hours

Resources for Students

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Phone: 631-632-7148.

Liaison Librarian Directory 

Many thanks are owed to the librarians at Syracuse University. Their extensive research guide on disability studies was an invaluable resource for creating this guide.