Photo credit to Tanya Villano Photography

Hello and welcome to my individual major website: Disability Studies. My name is Elana Abelson and I am a student at St. Olaf College. Through the Center for Integrative Studies, I created and pursued a major in Disability Studies, with a focus on developmental disabilities. The idea for my major stemmed from experiences sophomore year of college including my discovery of a life changing book entitled Far From the Tree, by Andrew Solomon. This book inspired me to examine disability in a new light. This book, combined with a volunteer experience at Laura Baker Services in Northfield, and the experience of growing up with an aunt with disabilities, motivated me to create my own major on disabilities. The foundation of my major asks what it means to live a good life. While my intent was not to answer this question, through coursework and relevant experiences, I broadened my understanding of what it means to live a good life and what the value of a life lived means. My coursework includes a solid foundation in the sciences and psychology, compounded by an ethical component that forces me to examine the ways society views people with disabilities, and a creative component that allows me to work with people with disabilities through multiple avenues. Foundational questions of my major, the description of my major and the rationale can be found in my original proposal. Please enjoy the site.