WELF 1012 Understanding Disability: Historical and Contemporary Frameworks

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102846

Coordinator Irena Veljanova Opens in new window

Description Disability Studies is a multi-disciplinary field that investigates, critiques, and enhances society's understandings of disability. The subject will introduce students to contemporary frameworks for recognising how people with disabilities have experienced disadvantage and exclusion because of personal and societal responses to impairment. The subject will explore how disability activists and scholars have re-conceptualised disability from a more empowering social-political and human rights perspective as an element of human diversity. The subject is grounded in case study pedagogy to ensure the integration of applied practice with rich conceptual and rigorous frameworks.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Care for the Disabled

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply key concepts and the major frameworks (models) for analysing disability.
  2. Describe how society�fs concept of normalcy results in everyday forms of discrimination, exclusion and poverty, in local, national, and global contexts.
  3. Explain the ways in which disability rights movements and disabled people have driven change at the local, national and international level.
  4. Present information and arguments related to disability studies using an appropriate academic style.
  5. Apply strategies to work effectively in a team.

Subject Content

Historical developments in the field and their continuance in contemporary practice.
Introduction of contemporary understandings for recognising how people with disabilities have experienced disadvantage and exclusion.
Personal and societal responses to impairment since industrialisation to the contemporary time.
The work of disability activists and scholars in re-conceptualising disability including contemporary perspectives governed by international socio-legal policy that promote rights, justice and equality.


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
Annotated Bibliography 4 academic core texts reviewed with a 200 summary of each (total 800 word count plus bibliography) 30 N Individual
Presentation 15 min online group presentation 30 N Group
Reflection 1000 words plus bibliography 40 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Irena Veljanova Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window