Center of Disability Studies and Scholarship

Welcome to the Center for Disability Studies & Scholarship at California State University, Long Beach!

Historical Background

The Center was established in 1997 by Dr. Gail Farmer, Director of the Center for Disability Studies & Scholarship. The Center was developed to foster a compassionate equity environment within our diverse CSULB community for students with disabilities. Each student brings their unique talents. When nurtured, these talents can lead to revolutionary creative breakthroughs.


However, persons with disabilities represent one of the largest segments in the United States population. Due to high rates of unemployment and suboptimal wages, 1 out of 3 working-age persons with disabilities lives in poverty. Even after obtaining a postsecondary education, persons with disabilities earn 38 percent less than their peers without disabilities. Disparities are compounded for persons with disabilities who are from diverse race/ethnic backgrounds. While NIH and NSF purposefully include persons with disabilities in their efforts to diversify health practitioners and researchers, post-secondary education has neglected to strategically plan and implement active outreach methods to and retention of students with disabilities into biomedical, behavioral and clinical professions. Key barriers include the challenge of persistence in STEM, issues of inaccessible pedagogy and negative attitudes.