Wayne State University

Susan L. Gabel

Susan L. Gabel
Professor of Inclusive and Special Education
289 Education Building

Office Hours: By appointment.

(313) 577-6382

  • PhD, Michigan State University
  • MEd, Wayne State University



Dr. Gabel was a special education teacher for 15 years. Her teaching experience spans the full range of special education support services, including segregated facilties, self-contained classrooms in regular schools, and full inclusion. Her research examines the institution (e.g., education) as a site of exclusion of difference, particularly disability-as-difference. Alternatively, her university teaching focuses on inclusive policy and practice. 


Research and Teaching

Academic Interests

  • Inclusive Education
  • Disability Studies in Education
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability
  • International and Comparative Studies


Area Of Expertise

  • Inclusive Education
  • Disability Studies in Education
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability
  • International and Comparative Studies
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Critial Discourse Analysis

Research Interests

  • Inclusive Education
  • Disability Studies in Education
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability


Courses Taught

 Inclusive Education, Curriculum, & Pedagogy

Community Engagement Activities

 Participates in the Detroit Public Schools Community District Academic Council


Providing students with disabilities a quality higher education
2008 - 2012

Awards & Honors

Senior Scholar Award, Disability Studies in Education
Faculty Research Award
US Rehabilitation Services Administration Institute on Rehabilitation Issues Scholar
Irving K. Zola Emerging Scholar Award, Honorable Mention, The Society for Disability Studies


Re-imagining critical care and problematizing sense of school belonging as a response to inequality for immigrants and children of immigrants.
DeNicolo, C., Yu, M., Crowley, C., & Gabel, S. L.   2017 Review of Research in Education
(Dis)connect between disability and diversity on California State University websites: A discussion from a critical snapshot discourse study
Gabel, S. L., Reid, D., & Pearson, H.   2017 Disability as Diversity in Higher Education: Policies and Practices to Enhance Student Success New York Routledge
Disability and diversity on CSU websites: A critical discourse study
Gabel, S. L., Reid, D., Pearson, H., Ruiz, L., & Hume-Dawson, R.   2016 Journal of Diversity in Higher Education 9 64-80
Motherhood in the context of normative discourse: Birth stories of mothers of children with Down syndrome
Gabel, S. L., & Kotel, K.   2015 Journal of Medical Humanities DOI: 10.1007/s10912-015-9367-z
Discourse and the containment of disability in postsecondary education
Gabel, Susan L., & Miskovic, Maja   2014 Disability and Society 29 1145-1158
Physical disability, gender, and marriage in Jordanian society
Jalal, S., & Gabel, S. L.   2014 The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal 10
Disability and teaching
Gabel, S. L., & Connor, D. J.   2014 Textbook
Cripping the curriculum through academic activism: Working toward increasing global exchanges to reframe (dis)ability and education
Connor, D. J., & Gabel, S. L.   2013 Equity, Excellence, and Education 26 100-118
Intellectual disability and space: Critical narratives of exclusion
Gabel, S. L., Cohen, C. J., Kotel, K., & Pearson, H.   2013 Intellectual and Developmental Disability 51 74-80
When numbers do not add up and words cannot explain: Challenges in defining disability in higher education
Miskovic, M., & Gabel, S. L.   2012 . International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches 6 233-244
Policy and challenges of building schools as inclusive communities
Curcic, S., Gabel, S.L., Zeitlin, V. Cribaro, S., & Glarner, C.   2011 International Journal of Inclusive Education 15 117-133
A disability studies framework for policy activism in postsecondary education
Gabel, S. L.   2010 Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 23 63-71
Migration and ethnic disproportionality in special education: An exploratory study
Gabel, S. L., Curcic, S., Powell, J., Khader, K., Albee, L. (2009)   2009 Disability and Society 24 625-640
Disability studies and inclusive education: Implications for theory, research, and practice.
Connor, D. J., Gabel, S. L., Gallagher, D. J., & Morton, M.   2009 International Journal of Inclusive Education 12 441-457
Theorizing disability: Implications and applications for social justice in education
Gabel, S. L., and Connor, D.   2008 W. Ayers, T. Quinn, & D. Stovall (Eds), The handbook of social justice in education.
Vital questions facing disability studies in education
Danforth, S., & Gabel, S. L.   2007 Edited book
Disability studies in education: Readings in theory and method
Gabel, S. L.,   2005 Edited book
Presage of a new paradigm: Beyond the social model of disability toward resistance theories of disabilit
Gabel, S. L., & Peters, S.   2004 Disability and Society 19 571-596
South Asian cultural orientations toward mental retardation
Gabel, S. L.   2004 Mental Retardation 42 12-25
Some conceptual problems with critical pedagogy
Gabel, S. L.   2002 Curriculum Inquiry 32 177-201
Troubling ethics: A rejoinder to Dillabough
Gabel, S. L.   2002 Curriculum Inquiry 32 215-227