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Autism and Disability Studies at CSI

The Social Model of Disability

This video created by the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive explains the social model of disability compared to the medical model.

Recent Disability Studies News

Judith Heumann, a prominent disability rights advocate, has recently passed away at the age of 75.


Welcome to the Autism and Disability Studies Guide. This guide is intended to provide information about the Autism Spectrum Advance Certificate and the Disability Studies minor at the College of Staten Island as well as helpful resources that can aid in researching topics related to disability studies. Most resources featured in this guide are available through access to the College of Staten Island Library or the CUNY system, however some Open Access and Open Educational Resource options are mentioned. 

Disclaimer: Although the author of this guide has autism and has used her knowledge of disability to inform the content of this guide, there are certainly areas and aspects to the topic of disability studies that will not be covered in this guide. The author recognizes that there are various approaches to the topic of disability studies and does not claim that there is a "correct way" to study disability. Please reach out to the author, Ashley Dirzis, if you have any comments, questions or recommendations. 

What is Disability Studies?

Disability Studies refers to the interdisciplinary field of exploring disability from a social, cultural, and political perspective instead of a strictly medical perspective. 

Popular Disability Studies Books

Care Work

 In her latest book of essays, Leah writes passionately and personally about disability justice, on subject such as the creation of care webs, collective access, and radically accessible spaces

New Narratives of Disability

This volume explores questions about narrative frameworks in disability research. 


A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently. 

Cover of the book

Nothing about Us Without Us

 "Nothing About Us Without Us" is the first book in the literature on disability to provide a theoretical overview of disability oppression that shows its similarities to, and differences from, racism, sexism, and colonialism. 

Ableism in Academia

Ableism in Academia provides an interdisciplinary outlook on ableism that is currently missing. Through reporting of research data and exploring personal experiences, the contributors explore the concept of what it means to be and to work outside the so-called norm. 

Autism Spectrum Disorders Advanced Certificate

The College of Staten Island offers an Advanced Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, a 12-credit program that focuses on a range of educational approaches and services available for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Advanced Certificate was developed to provide college graduates with experience and expertise in working with autistic individuals and their families. 

For more information on the Advanced Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, please visit the program's website or contact the program's coordinator, Dr. Kristen Gillespie-Lynch via phone (718.982.4121) or email ( 

Disability Studies Minor

The College of Staten Island offers a minor in Disability Studies for undergraduate students as a part of the college's interdisciplinary programs. 

For more information on the Disability Studies minor, please visit the program's website or contact the program's director, Eleni (Nelly) Tournaki via phone (718.982.3728) or email (