BEHV 7035 Psychological Approaches to Disability: Theory and Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102692

Coordinator Samuel Arnold Opens in new window

Description This subject offers students a contemporary understanding of the psychological assessment, intervention and evaluation techniques relevant to the support of people with disability. Biological, psychological social and community factors contributing to support will be presented. Ecological, functional and clinical approaches to planning across the life span will be taken, addressing early intervention, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and ageing. A key focus of the subject will be advancing inclusion and quality of life outcomes to enable people with disability to fully participate in society. Current legal, policy and ethical issues will also be discussed, including professional standards for working effectively across multicultural and multidisciplinary contexts.

School Psychology

Discipline Psychology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in 1814 Master of Professional Psychology.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Recall and appraise the psychological supports for people with disability across the life-span (APAC GA: 3.2).
  2. Demonstrate competence in the assessment of support needs of persons with disability, including their cultural needs (APAC GA: 3.3, 3.6 & 3.15).
  3. Develop a management plan to support a person with disability to maximise quality of life through participation and inclusion (APAC GA: 3.9).
  4. Apply disability psychology skills to evidence-based assessment, intervention and evaluation processes (APAC GA: 3.4 & 3.7).
  5. Critically analyse the psychologist�fs role within a multidisciplinary team and responsibility to act in accordance with contemporary disability policy, legal and ethical conventions (APAC GA: 3.10, 3.11, 3.12 & 3.13).

Subject Content

- Definition of disability and introduction to The Roles and functions of psychologists in The disability sector.
- key diagnostic Categories including autism, Intellectual disability, acquired Brain injury, physical disability, Sensory disability.
- psychological support across The life-span: birth of A child with disability, early intervention and transition to school, school education and transition to adulthood, adulthood, and transition to ageing and end of life.
- psychological assessment, intervention and evaluation of psychological supports across The life span.
- Psychologists?f Roles


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Case Study Max 2000 words 30 Y Individual
Interview 30 minutes 40 Y Individual
Professional Task Max 1500 words 30 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

Bigby, C., & Hough, A. (Eds.). (2024). Disability Practice: Safeguarding Quality Service Delivery. Springer Nature.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Samuel Arnold Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Spring (2024)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Samuel Arnold Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window