Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Different Disability Issues

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Disability Studies

DESCRIPTION This aim of this study-unit is to question the homogeneity that the term ‘disability’ can have for different people with disability. Therefore, the focus of this study-unit is on different groups of people with disability and also the individual narrative of persons with disability. The focus is therefore on the particular rather than on the collective.

Study-unit Aims:

1. The first aim is to look at the issue of diversity in disability. The term ‘disability’ often deludes us into thinking that disability is a homogeneous term. This study-unit looks at these issues. While identifying the common denominators between different groups of people with disability, it looks at the particular issues pertaining to specific impairment groups (such as: women, children, ethnicity, poverty, lesbian/gays).

2. The second aim is to look at how disability and various groups of disability have developed in terms of a Disability Movement and Activism in Malta and in other countries. The focus will be on the struggle for disabled people’s rights as part of the social movement and the emergence of disabled people’s organisations. Also, the role of non-disabled people within the disability movement will be discussed. A reference to research on/by people with disability will be made (however a whole study-unit is dedicated to research).

3. The third aim looks at (small) narratives of people with disability in particular to issues of power. Power is not seen as a negative term, but a reality that needs to be acknowledged. Disabled people are at times able to transcend oppressive power. These episodes of transcendance are read as ‘small narratives’ within the dominant narratives of disability, giving possibilities and potential both to the individual and activist groups, the possibility of becoming.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. Describe and analyze the relation of different groups of people with disability within the dominant concept of disability;
2. Evaluate and compare different disability movements and activism, particularly in Malta and the UK (but not only) which have given a voice to persons with disability;
3. Critique and analyze the issue of power within the personal narrative of persons with disability;
4. Demonstrate that s/he is familiar with the varied basic literature on diversity in the disability movement.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to explain, through the use of narratives, issues of power in the narrative of a person with disability.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Key texts on diversity in disability:

Key Concepts in Learning Disabilities (SAGE Key Concepts series) by Pat Talbot, Geoff Astbury and Tom Mason (2010).
Sensory Stimulation: Sensory-focused Activities for People with Physical and Multiple Disabilities by Susan Fowler (2006).
Unruly Bodies: Life Writing by Women with Disabilities by Susannah B. Mintz (2007).
Seeing with Your Fingers: Kids with Blindness and Visual Impairment (Kids with Special Needs: Idea (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)) by Sheila Stewart and Camden Flath Downs: The history of a disability (Biographies of Disease) by David Wright (2011).
Autism and Asperger Syndrome (The Facts) by Simon Baron-Cohen (2008).
Gay Men Living with Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities by Benjamin Lipton (2004).
Gay , Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation: Stories of the Rainbow Support Group by John D Allen (2003).
Dangerous Discourses of Disability, Subjectivity and Sexuality by Margrit Shildrick (2009).
Queer Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories (Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies) by John Dececco, Bob Guter and John R Killacky (2003).
Restricted Access: Lesbians on Disability by Victoria A. Brownworth and Susan Raffo (1999).
Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education?: Understanding Race and Disability in Schools by Beth Harry and Janette K. Klingner (2006).
Ethnicity, Disability and Chronic Illness (Race, Health & Social Care) by Ahmad (2000).
Disability and Poverty: A Global Challenge by Arne H. Eide and Benedicte Ingstad (2011).
Poverty and Disability by Tanya Barron and Jabulani Manombe Ncube (2010).
Disability and Culture by Benedicte Ingstad (1995).

Key texts on disability and narratives:

Voices from the Edge: Narratives about the Americans with Disabilities Act by Ruth O'Brien (2004).
Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma by Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson and Carla Paterson (2007).
Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability) by David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder (2001).
A Counterstory to Master Narratives for Persons with Disability: Carolyn Scheidies' Life History. by Laura Acke Sherwood (Sep 2011).

The UoM Library has a number of journals on disability studies. Students will be encourage to search, read and critique.


ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: First Cycle Degree

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Claire Lucille Azzopardi Lane
Lara Bezzina
Kurt Borg
Amy Joan Camilleri Zahra (Co-ord.)
Marceline Naudi

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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.