National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 3. Copyright 2007 National Collegiate Honors Council.


What does it mean to be “disabled”? How has this meaning changed over time in the U.S.? What factors affect a person’s experience of disability? Why should people—either disabled or not—learn about these matters?
This course explores the complexity of people’s experiences with disability in the past and present. Disability can be viewed from a number of lenses, including various academic disciplines, medical or social constructions, and minority-group perspectives. In this course, students analyze actions, ideas, and portrayals by cultural authorities and by the disabled themselves. Students complete a significant research project reflecting their major and interests. The instructors hope to engage students’ brains and hearts by deepening their thinking about disability, improving their academic skills, and stimulating their thinking about the art of being human.