Disability and Participation

Study in the Disability and Participation major/minor is offered by the Sydney School of Health Sciences. Units of study are interdisciplinary and offered at the standard level.

About the major/minor

Disability is ubiquitous in the community. No part of the political, cultural, social and economic landscape is untouched by the contribution or needs of people with disability.

The Disability and Participation major/minor will help students across all disciplines develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that will underpin informed collaboration to reduce these inequalities and support inclusion and participation of people with disability in everyday life.

The Disability and Participation major/minor will also introduce concepts that underpin the perceptions and experience of disability from person-centered and citizen-community perspectives. The major/minor acknowledges and seeks to counteract outdated historical depictions of people with disability as objects for study or people with disorders to be “managed”. It recognises the importance of social constructs in creating disability and disability as a human rights issue that can impact health and participation in everyday life. Practical strategies that have been and could be used to facilitate participation in real-world settings will be explored, including:

  • advocacy
  • collaborative dialogue and partnership
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander approaches to health and healing
  • culturally safe disability practice and understanding of disability in multicultural settings; use of everyday technologies, and
  • local/ international community development.

Major Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply knowledge and skills about disability from a personcentered, strengths-based and participation focused perspective to inform a critical and creative engagement with disability.
  2. Question assumptions underlying changing models of disability and critically analyse the impact on the experience of people with disability across the lifespan to apply person-centered and/or community development approaches to enhancing participation.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas regarding participation of people with disability, citizen advocacy and disability partnership using a variety of tools, media and strategies appropriate and accessible to the audience.
  4. Demonstrate cultural competence through active engagement with one’s own and others’ world views about and experience of disability including “disablism”, “able-bodied privilege”, decolonising approaches, human rights and disabled person citizenship, commodification of disability, and inclusion and participation as cultural artifice.
  5. Demonstrate competence in identifying and analysing individual and community problems and applying personcentered and/or community development approaches to enhancing the participation of people with disability as full citizens in their communities.
  6. Work alone and in teams to identify intractable, obstinate or commonly encountered problems that create barriers to full participation of people with disability as citizens in their communities, and by asking new questions and using disciplinary and interdisciplinary research evidence and resources translate what is known into workable solutions or answerable questions for future research and action.
  7. Work collaboratively and effectively in interdisciplinary teams develop action plans, and show how the plan would be implemented in context-relevant, collaborative and consultative ways with people who have disability, disability stakeholders and their communities.
  8. Demonstrate awareness of strategies to keep up to date with research evidence, policy changes, ethical responsibilities, regulatory obligations and reporting mechanisms to prevent exploitation, safeguard people with disability, enhance partnership and maintain standards in disability support related activities.

Requirements for completion for Major

To meet the requirements for a major in Disability and Participation you must complete 48 credit points of units of study, as follows:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units:
Disability, Participation and Health
Disability and Lifespan Development

(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
Disability and Decolonising Practices
Disability, Human Rights and Participation

(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level or 3000-level selective units
Disability and General Assistive Products
Innovations in eHealth
Disability Sport and Social Inclusion
Physical Activity and Population Health
Growth, Development and Ageing
Health and Lifelong Disability

(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level core units
Community Development and Disability
Disability Sector Development

(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units
Community Linkages in Disability
Industry and Community Project

Requirements for completion for Minor

To meet the requirements of a minor in Disability and Participation, you must complete 36 credit points of units of study, as follows:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units:
Disability, Participation and Health
Disability and Lifespan Development

(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units:
Disability and Decolonising Practices
Disability, Human Rights and Participation

(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level core units:
Community Development and Disability
Disability Sector Development

Contact and further information

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