Disability Theory (GSDD5200)


Students will examine a range of historical and contemporary theoretical views of disability, and the way that these views inform personal and societal responses to disability. Perspectives covered will include (but not be limited to) the human rights approach; biopsychosocial perspectives including the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF); the social model of disability, and cultural perspectives. Students will examine international developments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (2006), the World Report on Disability (World Bank and WHO, 2011) and the WHO Global Action Plan on Disability 2014-2020. Australian disability legislation and policies will be critiqued to identify the theoretical approaches, values and power relations underpinning these initiatives.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Web based, no on campus attendance required


Participation in online discussion groups (20%), 2000wd essay (30%) and 3000wd essay (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

This unit is offered as an elective to students enrolled prior to 2013. For commencing students in 2013 onwards it is a core equirement.

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.