No Body is Disposable: Disability Justice and Creating a Society of Care

Course Description

Despite declarations that the Covid-19 pandemic is “over,” it continues to place an undue burden on disabled and chronically ill people, some of whom have become disabled as a result of Covid-19 itself. In fact, experts and advocates say that “Long Covid could be the greatest mass-disabling event in human history,” but it has received relatively little attention. Why?

Beginning with the case study of Covid-19, this class will explore how ableism is a social determinant of health. We will examine the history and function of ableism in medicine, law, and social policy in the U.S. and how these institutions came to define the ideal able, healthy, and productive body. We’ll consider how ableism intersects with racial, class, and gender oppression in the U.S. by marking some bodies as inherently more valuable than others. We will also look at how disabled, chronically ill, and neurodivergent people have long fought and resisted their pathologization and oppression at the hands of systems that deem them disposable.

This course will explore a social model that understands disability as a product of social environment. We’ll look to disability justice as a framework that views all bodies as essential, each with their own unique strengths and needs that must be—and can only be—met collectively. We’ll conclude by highlighting how nurses can integrate and advocate for disability justice as a practice of solidarity that recognizes the right of everybody to receive care with autonomy and dignity.

Course Objectives:

  • Define common concepts and theories in disability studies
  • Gain familiarity with the history and role of ableism in medicine, law, and U.S. social policy
  • Articulate the connection between ableism and other forms of oppression related to gender, race, and class
  • Apply disability justice concepts and approaches to patient advocacy

Instructor: Kel Montalvo-Quiñones

Course Details:

This will be a 3-hour online class via Zoom for 3 hours of continuing education credits. Check back soon for in-person dates.

After registering, you will receive an invitation to the Zoom class via email. It is important that you respond to the invitation and register for the Zoom class prior to the day of the class.

CE courses are free to National Nurses United members. Classes are only offered to direct-care and staff RNs.


May 22, 2023
12pm-3pm PT/3pm-6pm ET