The University of Michigan Initiative on Disability Studies seeks to expand diversity at the University of Michigan by integrating the study of disability into research, scholarship, and teaching. UMInDS understands disability as a critical concept necessary to the advancement of the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Disability Studies is interdisciplinary both because it draws upon the intellectual tools of the major disciplines and because it serves as a conceptual framework that reorients the basic assumptions of various fields of knowledge, from political science to architecture, from engineering to art history, from genetics to law, from public policy to education, from biology to poetry, and so on. UMInDS views people with disabilities not as objects but as producers of knowledge whose common history has generated a wide variety of art, music, literature, and science infused with the experience of disability. The central purpose of UMInDS is to advance knowledge about, by, and for people with disabilities and to promote their full and equal participation in society.
The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) is proud to be the institutional home of UMInDS. The goal of the NCID is to move working groups to proposal development groups, which, by securing funding from internal and external sponsors, can proceed toward formal institutionalization as programs. UMInDS is generously funded by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.