Subject details

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the interaction between the concepts of impairment and disability
  2. Compare and contrast perspectives on the citizenship of people with disability in society with an earlier historic period
  3. Interpret and transmit knowledge about the theoretical models of disability embedded in current disability policies
  4. Evaluate the changes that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Disability Strategy (NDS) brings to mainstream service systems
  5. Critically reflect on different models of disability from different perspectives and their influence on individual practice, policy and programs.
    • What does an ordinary life look like?
    • Thinking about disability; framework and models
    • Understanding impairment and disability
    • Stigma and disability
    • Historical perspectives; life stories and policy contexts
    • Deinstitutionalisation
    • Kew Cottages case study
    • The road to reform in disability funding and support
    • The NDIS
    • The roll out and implementation of NDIS
    • Accessing mainstream services
    • People with disabilities living their lives
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Web links
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Audio-Video streaming


In order to enrol in this subject, students are required to apply to OUA's Postgraduate Single Subjects program (OUA-PSU-GCE).

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject provides the theoretical underpinnings of the current disability landscape. It gives students a strong conceptual foundation for thinking about the contemporary position of people with disability in society and its comparison with an earlier historic period, understanding the aims of current disability policies and the nature of specialist disability and mainstream service systems available to people with a disability. Students will consider different models for understanding disability and the way these frame the 'problem' of disability, policy aspirations and services. The key features of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Disability Strategy (NDS) as major reforms and their implications for professionals working in mainstream or specialist services will be explored. Students will examine the conceptual differences between impairment and disability, the interplay between these, and the rationale for impairment specific knowledge in adjusting social settings such as schools, places of employment or community groups to be inclusive of people with disabilities.

Concept discussion forum - Students to use online forum to discuss disability-related concepts. Marking rubric to specify the structure of the forum discussion. Historical perspectives forum - Students to use online forum to discuss historical perspectives. Marking rubric to specify the structure of the forum discussion. Disability Policy Report - Interpretation and evaluation of disability policies and how they apply to practice. Services Proposal - Proposal to Board of Management about suggested changes to mainstream services.

  • Concept discussion forum (500- word equivalent) (10%)
  • Historical perspectives forum (500-word equivalent) (10%)
  • Disability Policy Report (2,000- word equivalent) (40%)
  • Services Proposal (2,000-word equivalent) (40%)

Textbook information is pending.

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