The University of Michigan Initiative on Disability Studies seeks to expand diversity at the University of Michigan by integrating the study of disability into research, scholarship, and teaching. UMInDS understands disability as a critical concept necessary to the advancement of the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Disability Studies is interdisciplinary both because it draws upon the intellectual tools of the major disciplines and because it serves as a conceptual framework that reorients the basic assumptions of various fields of knowledge, from political science to architecture, from engineering to art history, from genetics to law, from public policy to education, from biology to poetry, and so on. UMInDS views people with disabilities not as objects but as producers of knowledge whose common history has generated a wide variety of art, music, literature, and science infused with the experience of disability. The central purpose of UMInDS is to advance knowledge about, by, and for people with disabilities and to promote their full and equal participation in academia and society.

UMInDS is generously funded by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and is housed in the Department of English Language and Literature.