Bochum Center for Disability Studies (BODYS)
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Bochum Center for Disability Studies (BODYS)

Bochum Center for Disability Studies (BODYS) was founded June 2015 and is a research institute of the Protestant University of Applied Sciences (EVH RWL) in Bochum Germany.

Our team at BODYS recognizes disability studies as an inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary theoretical basis for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and for its implications regarding theory and practice, the disability sector and the society as a whole.

BODYS offers a framework for human rights-based, participative and intersectional research.

The ratification of the UN CRPD confronts the disability sector with profound change. The paradigm shift from the medical to a human rights-based model of disability requires new theoretical and practical concepts. Disability studies explore normality and disability from the perspectives of legal, ethical, anthropological, social and cultural sciences. Emancipation, participation and equality of disabled persons are the core ambitions of this new discipline in Germany.

Core activities

  • Preparation and realisation of research projects
  • Promotion and linkage of the teaching of disability studies
  • Training opportunities in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced and Continuing Training
  • Building regional, national and international cooperation with research and practice facilities
  • Organisation of conferences and other events
  • Promotion of young academics with disabilities
  • Development and maintenance of an information and communication platform for disability studies on the regional and transregional knowledge transfer on political, practice and research level

Disability Human Rights Research Network

The Disability Human Rights Research Network (DHRRN) was founded in 2016 by BODYS and its international partners. The network's mission is to connect researchers in the field of disability rights with human rights organisations and with the voice of people with disabilities. The research should thus be able to react immediately to violations of rights that have been uncovered by human rights bodies. The network also ensures that researchers listen closely to people with disabilities through direct exchange and cooperation with self-advocacy organisations (DPOs). The network is currently coordinated by BODYS.

Protocol for Rights-based Disability Research


Prof. Dr. Theresia Degener
Franziska Witzmann

Bochum Center for Disability Studies
phone: +49 234 36901-473
Webpage in German: