FAQs

  1. What is Critical Disability Studies (CDS)?
    CDS is an approach that centers the understanding of disability as a political, cultural, and historical experience. In CDS, disability is understood as intersecting and interwoven with other systems of power and oppression, transnationally. When we talk about issues related to disability, we must always consider how race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship are also connected. This concept is called intersectionality.

    CDS is not only an academic endeavor. It has deep connections to disability justice activism, community scholarship, and grassroots organizing. CDS is often based in the humanities and/or social sciences, but most CDS is interdisciplinary. This means that CDS often blurs the lines among academic fields of study.
     
     
  2. Why do CDS? 
    CDS analyzes how society teaches us to think about disability and ability, and how those thoughts turn into actions that so-often negatively impact the lives of disabled people. CDS offers a method for questioning how systems of power operate. There is knowledge that comes specifically from moving around social barriers in a disabled body and/or mind. CDS is a critique of social norms and social structures that stigmatize certain bodyminds and populations, otherwise known as ableism (Minich). 
     
  3. What “counts” as disability?
    There are different models for disability. At the CDSC, we promote a social model that sees social barriers as the impediment to disabled people’s full participation in society. This is opposed to a medical model, which views disability as a condition to be treated and in which the burden is on the individual to be "treated."

    Disability is also visible and invisible. For instance, someone could have a disability without their co-workers being able to “tell” just by looking at them. In part, this is because experiencing changes to one’s body and mind happens to everyone throughout their lives. 

    For more information, see The Disability Visibility Project and Sins Invalid.
     
  4. I’m new to thinking about disability as not medical. Where do I start? 
    1. Laboring for Disability Justice & Liberation Lydia X.Z. Brown
    2. Skin, Tooth, and Bones: A Disability Justice Primer, 2nd edition
    3. Leaving Evidence Blog by Mia Mingus
    4. The Body is Not an Apology free online magazine, book
    5. 10 Principles of Disability Justice, Sins Invalid
       
  5. Twin Cities, MN alternatives to calling the police

    1. Alternatives to Calling the Police during a Mental Health Crisis
    2. ACP (Facebook page)
    3. Don'tCallThePolice (Minneapolis)
    4. Don'tCallThePolice (Duluth)
    5. MPD150 Alternatives
    6. For Minnesota, texting **CRISIS (**274747) (may choose to call the police)
    7. COPE: 1-612-596-1223 (Hennepin County only; make choose to call the police)
    8. Crisis Text Line: free help across the state; text MN to 741741
    9. MN County Mental Health FAQs (PDF)
    10. Tubman Crisis Line (24 hour): 1-612-825-0000
    11. Minnesota Warmline: 1-651-288-0400
    12. Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860 (explicitly state that they will not call the police unless you desire)
    13. Mental Health Minnesota