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Course Descriptor

Alistair Knock

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Course title: Disability Awareness and Equality

Credit Rating: N/A - Staff development module, equivalent to SCQF Level 7

Short description of course:

Attitudes around disability have changed substantially over the past 50 years, pushed by an active disability rights movement and recently supported through national legislation. This course will give a practical and theoretical introduction to the preferred models of perceiving disability and to ways in which societal barriers can be removed through improved physical, cognitive and emotional design.

The course will explore the legal definition of disability, the social and medical models of disability, and the legislation which guarantees the rights of disabled people. We will consider how the social model affects the language we use and the ways in which we interact with disabled people. The second part of the course will focus on the steps which can be taken to create accessible environments for disabled people, looking at anticipatory, inclusive design for all as well as making responsive adjustments for individuals. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on the impact that inaccessible characteristics of their own field of work might have for people with different impairments, and how to begin removing these barriers.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module you will be able to:

Outline Of Content:

Section 1: What is disability?

Section 2: Legislation and history

Section 3: Language and models

Section 4: Making adjustments

Section 5: Equality and promotion

Section 6: Auditing and impact assessment

'Hands-on' exercise as part of the final piece of assessment - including:

Indicative Reading:

There will be no mandatory readings for this course as the majority of content will be provided within the course through materials generated by the course team.

Teaching Methods:

The course has a relaxed structure where students can study the materials and complete the quizzes at their own pace over the 6 sections, though asychronous group discussions will take place during each section, supported by the tutor. Each section's content will include in-course readings and optional external readings, and students will be encouraged to share their thoughts and concerns through the discussion board. Several sections contain interactive and multimedia content such as web exercises, activities in Second Life, and videos.

Assessment Mechanisms:

There are three parts to the course assessment. As the course does not carry credits, the assessment does not formally contribute to an overall mark. However the assessment provides a framework for the learner (and tutor) to evaluate their progress.

  1. Each section will end with a short multiple choice quiz covering the key concepts learned.

  2. Language evaluation: Section 3 will involve students self-evaluating their attitude toward different forms of language used in discussing disability. This will be achieved through a quiz selecting language they believe is preferred, prior to reading the course content. The students will then read the course content and language, and re-take the same quiz. A group discussion will provoke personal and shared reflection of the value - positive and negative - of different forms of language.

  3. Impact assessment: in Section 6 students will take part of their own work environment and conduct an impact assessment on it for someone with a particular impairment, writing a brief report and share it with the group for further discussion.