Skip to main content

Unit information: Disability - global dimensions in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Disability - global dimensions
Unit code SPOL30042
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2D (weeks 19 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Dowling
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

We live in an unequal world. Basic freedoms, life opportunities, access to health care and education, employment and housing as well as life expectancy are often dependent upon (among other things) nationality, social status, gender, sexuality, economic position and (dis)ability. Nationally and internationally disparities in wealth, health and life chances are more marked amongst disabled people who are more likely to experience, poorer health, to live in poverty, to be socially marginalised and often to be absent from decisions affecting their lives. This unit will be of interest to those wishing to consider in more depth the issues facing disabled people in the context of global health and well-being in current times.

This course will be grounded in theoretical approaches to disability with critical exploration of the medical and social models of disability. It will consider the impact of culture on disability and the importance of recognising the cultural context and metaphorical positioning of disability. International conventions and rights documents will be explored together with an examination of countries’ responses and obligations to them. Specific country examples will be highlighted. The course will explore health and disability in the global context including consideration of impairment consequent to disease and health indicators. Finally, the course aims to explore further aspects of disability in the global context including a focus on conflict and crises as well as on migration and asylum.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, the student would:

  1. understand and be able to critique the models and theories that are central to disability studies
  2. be familiar with relevant international instruments and conventions
  3. understand the impact of culture on the concept of disability
  4. understand health and disability in the global context
  5. be able to analyse outcomes for disabled people in relation to particular examples to include conflict and crises as well as migration and asylum from the perspective of disability and in relation to global health

Teaching Information

Interactive lectures, small group teaching methods (e.g. small group discussions) and independent learning through joint production of a presentation.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: a 15-minute presentation in groups of 2-3 with verbal feedback.

Summative assessment would be an essay of max 2,500 words.

The assessments would enable the student to demonstrate that they had met the learning outcomes of the unit.

Reading and References

Davis, L. (ed) (2010) The Disability Studies Reader (3rd ed). Routledge.

Goodley, D. (2011) Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction. London: Sage

Haveman, M. Perry, J. & Salvador-Carulla, L. (2011) Ageing and health status in adults with intellectual disabilities: Results of the European POMONA II Study. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. 36(1) 49-60

Mitchel, D. & Kerr, V. (2014) Crises, Conflict and Disability: Ensuring Equality. London Routledge.

Noonan-Walsh, P. (2008) POMONA: Health Indicators for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Final Report.

Oliver, M. and Barnes, C. (2012) The new politics of disablement. (2nd ed), Palgrave Macmillan

Swan, J., French, S.. Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. (eds.)(2004) Disabling Barriers – Enabling Environments (2nd ed.) . London: Sage.

WHO & World bank (2011) World Report on Disability. WHO Library