People with Intellectual Disability (OCCP5248)


This unit aims to develop students` knowledge, skill and attitudes for working with people with intellectual disability, with a focus mainly on adults, their participation and support needs. Students will study: the definition of intellectual disability; the abilities and support needs of people with intellectual disability; the service settings which people with intellectual disability use, their occupational roles in those settings, clinical communication with people with intellectual disability, individual planning, choice and self-determination, guardianship, positive support for challenging behaviour, ageing and dementia, and families. There will be a detailed focus on `Active Support` as one important approach to supporting people with intellectual disability participate fully (with support) in domestic and community life. Students will learn how to use Active Support techniques when working directly with people with intellectual disability, as well as learning how to train and support carers and direct-care staff in the use of these techniques. Classroom teaching will be supported by a small-group fieldwork project conducted in disability service settings.

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Further unit of study information


One 3-hour lecture/tutorial per week


One individual essay (35%), quiz/exam (20%) and one individual fieldwork project report (45%)


Dempsey I & Nankervis K (eds), Community Disability Services: An Evidence-Based Approach to Practice, UNSW Press, Sydney (2006) A list of readings will be provided. Many readings are available online

Practical work

Small group fieldwork project

Faculty/department permission required?


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