The Department of Disability Studies was first set up as the Disability Studies Unit at the University of Malta in July 2012. The National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) together with the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at UM worked closely to set up the Unit, which then developed into the Department as we know it today.
Study-units relating to disability issues, delivered by KNPD since 1993, have now been incorporated within the Department of Disability Studies course programme. We offer study-units at undergraduate level to various faculties at UM in a bid to expose students and future professionals to the challenges faced by disabled people in all walks of life. We do this from both a theoretical and experiential perspective by involving disabled people to deliver the lectures.
The Certificate Course in Community Access for Disabled People, launched in October 2016, may be extended by another year of two semesters on a part-time basis leading to the Diploma in Community Access for Disabled People. This course can be extended to a further year of two semesters leading to the Higher Diploma in Community Access for Disabled People. The course is intended for those students who need a sound and extensive understanding of disability issues and caters for students who may need support to update or enhance their study skills.
The M.A. in Disability Studies course was designed by a group of disabled and non-disabled academics from different disciplines. We also offer a preparatory programme to enable health and social care professionals with a Diploma to obtain the necessary qualifications to enrol for this postgraduate degree course.
We collaborate with various UM entities to explore possible interdisciplinary disability-related research projects both locally and internationally. Our Department forms part of the Academic Network of European Experts on Disability (ANED) of the European Commission DG Justice.