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Disability Studies

This part-time program allows students to take courses at their own pace. Students can complete as few as one to two courses per semester, or they can complete three courses or more per semester (making it full-time, OSAP eligible). 

Disability Studies

Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Administered by: School of Disability Studies
Program Format: Part-time degree completion program.

The admission requirements for the Post Diploma Degree Completion program in Disability Studies are:

  • A Diploma or Advanced Diploma from a public Canadian community college. Diplomas must have an academic focus (e.g. community and social services, business, arts, engineering, science).  
  • Applicants with equivalent international academic qualifications may be considered on a case by case basis.  
  • The diploma must include a one-year (or equivalent) introductory university-level humanities or social science course or equivalent. 
  • Applicants with less than a 'B' range average in an academic Diploma or Advanced Diploma program may be asked to complete up to two (2) one-term university level liberal studies courses prior to admission.  
  • Applicants are required to submit a personal letter outlining their relevant experience and rationale for applying to the program.


Admission Procedures

Applicants are required to submit the following to Undergraduate Admissions in addition to their online application and Supplementary Form.

Visit Submission of Documents for instructions:

  1. Academic transcripts of all post-secondary studies, including promotion/graduation status. High School transcripts are not required. Mature Student guidelines do not apply.
  2. A personal letter explaining how attending this program will benefit the applicant and Disability Communities.  The letter should not exceed two pages, double spaced.  It will be read for both admission eligibility and selection of potential recipients of the David and Sylvia Pollock Entrance Award in Disability Studies

Students are admitted three times a year, in the fall, winter and spring/summer semesters.

Established in 1999, this program provides part-time university education to adults with a college diploma in the disability field or other related post-secondary academic credentials and work experience in a diverse range of fields. At the end of the equivalent of approximately two years of full time study, students will receive a Bachelor of Arts, (Disability Studies) from Toronto Metropolitan University.

This degree program is designed to build on the direct practice skills that students have acquired from programs such as Developmental Services Worker, Educational Assistant, Mental Health and Addictions program and other disability studies related Canadian College diplomas and through work experience, (or other disability studies related post-secondary education and experience deemed suitable by the admissions committee), and to prepare them for leadership roles in a variety of areas including direct care, management, community development, policy, planning, and advocacy. In addition to paid careers, it is expected that some people, especially those within the disability community, will enrol in the program to enhance their ability to do effective advocacy.

Curriculum Information

In order to promote access for people from across Ontario (and perhaps elsewhere), all required courses are offered in an online format. Some of these courses will also be available in traditional once-a-week class formats at TMU. Students will be able to take elective courses at TMU or, with a Letter of Permission, at other universities. The flexible modes of delivery that characterize this program will also facilitate access by people with disabilities.

Due to the program's reliance on online courses, students will be required to have access to a computer, the Internet and the World Wide Web. Students who are graduates of an Ontario College may be able to access computers at the college from which they graduated. However, students are strongly encouraged to purchase their own computers.

Challenge Credits

After accepting an Offer of Admission, applicants with two years of full-time (or equivalent) related work/advocacy experience may apply for credit in DST80A/B Practicum in Disability Studies through the Challenge Credit Application process. Please contact the School of Disability Studies for more information.

Applicants who acquire this experience during their time in the program may apply for Challenge Credit prior to graduation or must complete DST80A/B Practicum in Disability Studies.

Course Sequencing

Students must take DST 501 as their first required course. They may not take DST 99A/B until they have completed all other requirements for the degree. Students should note that certain liberal studies and professionally-related courses may have their own prerequisites.

Course Identification

Part-time courses are administered by either the program department or The G. Raymond School of Continuing Education. The mode of delivery is not reflected in this calendar. Continuing education courses are identified in your course enrolment package with a 'C' prefix. These identifiers are for internal use only and do not affect the equivalency.

Transfer Credits

Students with post-secondary studies beyond the basis of admission may be eligible for transfer credits, with no more than 50 percent of a program's requirements consisting of advanced standing/credits (transfer credits, challenge credits, credits granted on a Letter of Permission).

Years to Complete - Time-Span

Students are required to complete the program in no more than eight years. Most students will complete the program in less time by planning their course selections carefully. The completion time will vary with the number of courses taken each year, with not all courses offered each year. 

Liberal Studies

Students must take one lower level liberal studies courses and three upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

If an upper level liberal studies course requires a prerequisite, students MUST apply for a transfer credit for that prerequisite. This will only serve as a proof of prerequisite and will not apply toward the degree.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website (opens in new window) .

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

Disability Studies courses are not available for credit. 

Students admitted before Fall 2017: Students may take only three Philosophy courses for credit between table A and B.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

DST courses are not available for credit.


Students may pursue any Minor offered by Toronto Met (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Certificates

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website (opens in new window)  for complete details.


  • DST 501 Rethinking Disability
  • DST 502 Disability and the State
  • DST 504 Mad People's History
  • DST 506 Principles and Practices of Accessibility
  • DST 507 Disability, Justice and Good Human Life
  • DST 525 Disability and Representation
  • DST 613 Strategies for Community Building
  • DST 725 The Politics and Practice of Interventions
  • DST 727 Leadership Practices for Changing Times
  • DST 80A/B* Practicum - Disability Studies
  • DST 88A/B Research Methods
  • DST 99A/B† Applied Community Project/Thesis

Four courses. One from Table A and three from Table B.

CORE ELECTIVE TABLE I: Two courses from the following:

  • CLD 435 Theory and Practice of Family Support
  • CLD 445 Inclusion and Consultation
  • DST 503 Current Topics in Disability I
  • DST 509 Disability Arts and Culture
  • DST 603 Law and Disability
  • DST 604 Current Topics in Disability II
  • DST 614 Community, Access and Technology
  • DST 620 Disability Studies in Education
  • DST 630 Mad Studies: Contemporary Perspectives
  • FNF 100 Families and Health
  • FNF 400 The Social Context of Human Sexuality
  • INT 900 Program Planning and Evaluation Strategies
  • INT 901 Gerontology: Critical Issues and Future Trends
  • INT 905** Conflict Resolution in Community Services
  • INT 906 Sexuality: Power and Pleasure
  • INT 907 Team Work for Community Services
  • INT 908 Homelessness in Canadian Society
  • INT 910 Indigenous Peoples, Pol and Reconciliation
  • INT 911 International Community Development
  • INT 912 Community Development: International Field Experience
  • INT 913 Issues of Migration
  • INT 914 Settlement Experiences
  • INT 915 Responses to Migration
  • INT 916 Introduction to Fundraising
  • INT 920 Community Collaborations
  • INT 921 Writing Bodies Differently
  • INT 922 Introduction to Indigenous Worldviews
  • INT 923 Canada's Story: An Indigenous Perspective
  • SWP 903 Crisis Intervention

OPEN ELECTIVE: Four Open Electives

In addition to the general criteria used to determine Academic Standing, students in this program must also meet the following conditions:

A grade of 'C-' or lower in any of these courses will result in a PROBATIONARY standing:

  • DST 501 Rethinking Disability
  • DST 502 Disability and the State
  • DST 725 The Politics and Practice of Interventions
  • DST 99A/B Applied Community Project/Thesis

A second consecutive 'C-' in any of these courses will result in a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing.

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Kim Collins
Doctoral Candidate
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Loree Erickson
Sessional Instructor
Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto

Tobin Haley
Assistant Professor
Department of Social Science, University of New Brunswick

Sean Lee
Director of Programming
Tangled Art + Disability

Kirsty Liddiard
Senior Research Fellow
School of Education, University of Sheffield

Amanda Lin
School of Disability Studies, TMU

Paul Oberoi
York Region District School Board

Melanie Panitch

Executive Director
Office of Social Innovation, TMU

Jennifer Paterson

Health Promoter
Toronto Public Health

Tiffany-Anne Stones
Program Coordinator
Community Living Elgin

Heather Willis
Accessibility Coordinator
Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion, TMU