Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Person, Society and Disability

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Disability Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit provides an opportunity to conceptualise disability within the context of a life course approach in society.

In this study-unit we will be utilizing a thinking process that most explicitly takes the dimension of the individual’s life into account.

The shift in social theory, from social determinism to social constructivism, has generated a new interest in people's lived realities, and in the interplay between individual experience, action, social and cultural transformations. In this study unit we will engage with the studies of individual life courses focusing on specific phases and transitions.

The study-unit will also focus on the barriers that society creates for the disabled individual during all of these life phases. It will analyse the difficulties created by the community’s understanding of an individual's impairment and society's role in increasing the individual's disability.

The study-unit will present solutions for breaking down these barriers, for example, it will introduce students to the concepts that govern universal design, self-advocacy and activism.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is for course participants to engage with the dynamics that govern the progression through the life course for disabled people. The lectures will be located within the social model approach and will draw on contemporary debates in the area.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
• Describe and analyse the transitions that govern the life and experiences of disabled people, their family and the circle of friends and acquaintances;
• Analyse the myths around child birth and popular cliché’s around bereavement;
• Explain the challenges disabled people face during different developmental stages, the myths and realities of being children, youth and adults with a disability;
• Describe and analyse the links between old age and disability as well as notions around life and death.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
• Conceptualise the different life stages and critically analyse them;
• Reflect on life transitions;
• Apply this knowledge to the students' respective work context.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Priestly, M. (2003). Disability: A Life Course Approach. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Azzopardi, A. (2008). Career guidance for persons with disability. Valletta: Euroguidance Malta.

Azzopardi, A. (2009). Reading stories of inclusion: Engaging with different perspectives towards an agenda for inclusion. Germany: VDM Verlag.

Azzopardi, A. (2009). Understanding the disability politics in Malta: New directions explored. Germany: VDM Verlag.

Azzopardi, A. (2010). (Ed.). Making sense of inclusive education: Where everyone belongs. Germany: VDM Verlag.

Azzopardi, A. (2011). Conceptualising discursive communities: Developing community in contemporary society. The International Journal of Inclusive Education (IJIE) 15, No 1: 179-192.

Barnes, C. & Mercer. G. (2003) Disability. Oxford: polity press.

Shakespeare, T. (1994) Cultural representation of disabled people: dustbins for disavowal? Disability and society, 9 (3), pp. 283-299.

Goodley, D. & Lawthom R. (ed) (2006) Disability and psychology – critical introductions and reflections New York: Palgrave.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Claire Lucille Azzopardi Lane
Isabel Bonello
Anne-Marie Callus
Maria Victoria Gauci (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.