THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR DISABILITY STUDIES
COURSE TITLE: Understanding Persons with Disabilities
SHORT TITLE: Understanding PWDs
SUBJECT CODE: DBST
COURSE NUMBER: 1000
CONTACT HOURS: 39
CREDIT HOURS: 3
ACADEMIC CREDITS: 3
LEVEL: UG 1
EFFECTIVE TERM: Semester 1 2018-2019
TERM BEGIN: Semester 1
TERM EXAMINED: Semester 1
EQUIVALENT COURSE: N/A
GRADE MODE: Standard
The course format consists of a combination of weekly lectures, assigned readings, tutorials, and individual student projects. All students are required to register for, and to regularly attend, one of the weekly tutorials. The mode of delivery for this course is face-to-face. There will be 3 contact hours each week; one 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial.
Contact and credit hours are as follows:
Schedule Type Duration (Number of weeks) Contact Hours Credit Hours
Lecture 13 26 26
Tutorial 13 13 13
Total: 13 39 39
Countries within the Caribbean have signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and have adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As such, they are duty bound to honour their provisions. Simultaneously, some countries, such as Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti and Guyana have moved a step further by establishing national legislation to protect persons with disabilities against discrimination and to have them fully integrated into their societies. This course fills a gap in the curriculum taught in the Faculty as there are no introductory courses which deal exclusively with interacting and working with persons with disabilities. Students attending the UWI will become the leaders and managers in the broader Caribbean society and if the negative attitudes and perceptions are to be eradicated, these future leaders and managers must be exposed to how to relate with persons with disabilities.
In this course, students will have the opportunity to engage with some of the big issues facing persons with disabilities, governments, and societies. Students will explore human rights approaches to disability and critically examine the concepts of inclusion, access and support. Students will also learn about disability politics and policy, advocacy and activism, and understand how to work with Persons with disabilities (PWDs) at multiple levels to enable a good life for all.
On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and discuss the characteristics which are associated with the term “person with a disability”
2. Discuss the issues confronting persons with disabilities;
3. Advocate for the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities
4. Argue for the importance of providing persons with disabilities the ability to participate in society
The following are themes to be covered during the course:
1. Definitions of disability, human rights, access, care, support and contribution
a) The concepts of disability, human rights, access, care, support and contribution
b) Knowledge of disability, human rights, access, care, support and their contributions to academic and developmental success
2. Recognising and identifying different types of disabilities
a) Learning disabilities
b) Intellectual disabilities
c) Physical disabilities
d) Sensory impairments
e) Mental disabilities
3. Discrimination and barriers to access in the lives of persons with disabilities
a) Accepting people who are different
b) Accepting and integrating persons with disabilities in the community
c) Social deprivation
4. National legislation and the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities
a) From policy to legislation
b) Fulfilling international obligations
5. Care and support for persons with disabilities
a) Support systems for persons with disabilities
b) Respecting the dignity of persons with disabilities
6. Contributions of persons with disabilities to society
7. Advocacy and activism for change
a) The role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
b) The role of the media
8. Sympathy or empathy for persons with disabilities?
a) Empowerment and development is a must
b) Inclusive education for PWDs
c) Employment and training
d) Access to modern technology
Course work: 60%
Three (3) Tutorial Presentations* (10% each) 30%
Multiple choice mid-term exam (2 hrs) 30%
Final Written Exam (2 hrs) 40%
* Students will be required to make presentations in tutorial on a given topic from the theme presented in the previous lecture. There will be three such presentations, each valuing 10%.
Anderson, S. (2015). Climbing every mountain: barriers, opportunities and experiences of Jamaican students with disabilities in their pursuit of personal excellence. Kingston: Arawak Publisher
Barnes, C, Mercer, G, and Shakespeare, T (2010) Exploring Disability: A Sociological Introduction. 2nd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Morris, F. (2017). By faith, not by sight. I-Publish Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica.
Oliver, M. (2009) Understanding Disability: from Theory to Practice, 2nd edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Morris, F. (2018). Transforming and empowering persons with disabilities through modern technologies: A myth or reality. UWI Centre for Disability Studies. Kingston.
Highly recommended reading
Crowther, N. (2007) Nothing Without Us or Nothing About Us? Disability and Society 22(7), pp.791-794.
Danieli, A & Wheeler, P. (2006) Employment Policy and Disabled People: Old Wine in New Glasses? Disability & Society. 21(5), pp.485-498.
Goode, J. (2007) “Managing” Disability: Early Experiences of University Students with Disabilities, Disability and Society, 22(1), pp.35-48.
Goodley, D (2010) Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, London: Sage.
Hoque, K, Bacon, N & Parr, D. (2014) Employer Disability Practice in Britain: Assessing the impact of the Positive about Disabled People 'two ticks' symbol, Work, Employment and Society, 28(3), pp. 430-451.
Office for Disability Issues (2008) Experiences and Expectations of Disabled People. London: ODI.
Bell, D. & Heitmueller, A (2009) The Disability Discrimination Act in the UK: Helping or Hindering Employment Among the Disabled? Journal of Health Economics, 28, pp. 465-480.
Campbell, J & Oliver, M. (1996) Disability Politics: Understanding Our Past, Changing our Future, London: Routledge.
Clements, L. & Read, J. (2008). Disabled People and the Right to Life: The Protection and Violation of Disabled People's Most Basic Human Rights. London: Routledge
Income Data Services (2010) Disability Discrimination (employment law handbook) London: Income Data Services Ltd.
Berthoud, R. (2011) Trends in the Employment of Disabled People. Colchester: Institute for Social and Economic Research.
Coleman, N, Sykes, W & Groom, C (2014) Barriers to employment and unfair treatment at work, a quantitative analysis of disabled people's experiences, Research Report 88, Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010a) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: What does it mean for you? Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Riddell, S, Edward, S, Weedon, E & Ahlgren, L (2010) Disability, Skills and Employment: A Review of Recent Statistics and Literature on Policy and Initiatives, Research Report 59, Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission.