Research Center for Disability Studies

General Overview

The Center for Disability Studies was formally established on 3 March 2006. The Center for Disability Studies established an interdisciplinary forum for research in the field of disability education, but the Center was the first institution in this field of study in Iceland.

There, permanent teachers work in disability education, promoters, postdoctoral students and students in MA and doctoral studies, the latter being given the opportunity to gain experience and training in scientific work methods. Foreign doctorates and doctoral students have sought and obtained research facilities at the site with foreign grants, but the activities of the center are well known outside the country.


  • Rannveig Traustadóttir, director
  • Hanna Björg Sigurjónsdóttir, assistant director

The board of the center is three people, two are teachers and scholars in disability studies, director and deputy director mentioned above, but the director of the Social Science Institute, which is now Guðbjörg Andrea Jónsdóttir, is the third member.


At the end of January 2015, a major research project entitled Access to Specialized Victim Support Services for Women with Disabilities was completed, which included Experienced Violence. In addition to the Center for Disability Studies, research institutions and universities in Austria, England and Germany participated in the project. The study was funded by the Daphne III European Commission program.

The main focus of the project was to gather information on violence against disabled women and their access to NGOs and institutions supporting victims. At the same time, the aim of the study was to work out the results of practical materials that could be useful in organizing actions for the benefit of disabled women who have suffered violence and improved support for them. Therefore, benchmarks and fundamentals were created for effective support for disabled women who have suffered violence and suggestions for action to improve that support.

The research center has been working on the European project The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED) since it was founded by the European Union in December 2007. The project began in 2008 and participates in 30 European countries.

ANED's aim is to gather information that is the basis of the Union's policy on the affairs of people with disabilities. The project is led by Human European Consultancy in the Netherlands and the University of Leeds in the UK and is Mark Priestley Professor of Professional Project Manager.

ANED is associated with national research centers in disability studies. It reviews the various issues and statuses of each country set out in reports that are accessible on the network ANED. Rannveig Traustadóttir and James G. Rice have handled reports from Iceland on the issues that are being worked on at each time.

The Center for Disability Studies has conducted a number of research on issues and the status of disabled people in Iceland, either one or in collaboration with the Institute of Social Sciences.