This post was written by Ruth Ruth Stackhouse. She graduated from the Disability Studies program in 2011.
When I entered the Ryerson School of Disability Studies back in 2006, it was just to take one course, having a learning disability, I believed that would be as far as I could go, but at least I would have done that. On the first day of the program , however, the great Catherine Frazee, herself a wheelchair user, proclaimed to the students “My problem is not that I cannot walk, my problem is that I live in a world that insists that I walk’ …and then there was light in that dark area of my heart and mind, still from neglect, frightened to move for fear of self doubt. All of a sudden it occurred to me that I was not the one who had a problem with learning, rather the system of learning had failed me.
Making this epiphany even more profound was the realization that I was not alone. Indeed many of my fellow students were becoming liberated with the new knowledge of Disability Studies, brought to us by passionate activist teachers who encouraged a major paradigm shift toward equality and human rights. With the confidence and strength given to me at Ryerson School of Disability studies, what began with one course, turned into an Honours BA, and later an MA in Critical Disability Studies. But more that academic credentials, our school opens the door to self acceptance, and justice.