Carol Gill, PhD (IL UCEDD/LEND) Receives the 2012 Senior Scholar Award

April 26, 2012

Carol Gill, PhD, is the winner of the 2012 senior scholar award, selected by a committee of peers and nominated by members of the Society for Disability Studies.

Here are some excerpts from Prof. Gill's nomination and letters of support that capture her essence as Disability Studies senior scholar:

"Dr. Gill is an Associate Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. She got involved in disability activism, independent living and disability studies in Los Angeles, where she met Irving Zola, Diane Coleman and many other emerging leaders and activists in the disability movement. She worked as a rehabilitation psychologist and she directed a pioneering disability studies program at the University of Southern California. After she returned to Illinois in 1996, she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago and founded the Chicago Institute of Disability Research, which she continues to direct today."

"Dr. Gill has made diverse, significant, and lasting contributions to the establishment of disability studies as a scholarly field. Dr. Gill has made significant research contributions in areas of disability identity and community, disability culture; sexuality; parenting; women with disabilities' access to healthcare; training of healthcare professionals to provide more appropriate care to persons with disabilities; and perhaps most notably, in her scholarly writings that challenge the devaluation of disabled people in bioethical debates."

"Unlike many scholars who are known within their own circles, Carol's influence and reputation extend broadly to field such as rehabilitation, literature, cultural and women's studies, ethics, and history.  Such broad reach takes disability studies beyond its own boundaries to audiences who can and must think of disability in progressive and creative ways necessary to make profound and sustained change in rights and participation."

"I believe Carol is the perfect candidate for this award, not only for her significant scholarship, teaching and mentoring within Disability Studies, but also for her groundbreaking work as a disability rights activist, indeed setting the stage in the U.S. for the creation of the Society of Disability Studies and the field of Disability Studies as coming from within disability communities and led by disabled people."

"Perhaps one of the key signs of a senior scholar is to see the legacy impact upon students who then become central scholars in the field themselves; this is evident in Dr. Gill's legacy."