Critical Issues-Developmental Disability (GSDD5001)


As potential leaders in the field of developmental disability, students undertaking this unit will develop a framework for considering the major concepts in the field from a variety of viewpoints. This unit forms a conceptual underpinning for the Developmental Disability course and introduces students to basic concepts such as language and disability, and models of intervention. The unit takes a life-span approach and deals with topics from birth and diagnosis to end of life, with a focus on key transitions at different life stages. Also covered are historical developments, biopsychosocial aspects, family issues, and legal issues such as guardianship.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Online: no on-campus attendance required


participation in online discussion groups (20%), assignment 1 (30%), assignment 2 - case study and analysis (50%)


Grant, G., Ramcharan, P., Flynn, M. and Richardson, M. (Eds.) (2010). Learning disability: A life cycle approach (2nd ed.). Maidenhead, England: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.