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HSW2200 Disability Theory and Concepts

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Ipswich
Short Description: Disability Theory and Concepts
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090509 - Care for the Disabled
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: David Steggall


This course will enable students to develop knowledge of how social processes contribute to the marginalisation of people with disabilities and the older person throughout their lifespan. It also examines diversity and influences related to disability while exploring policy and program development in order to addresses factors such as advocacy and grief and loss. This course examines the field of disability and ageing person in relation to daily living, employment, recreation, education and rehabilitation.


Whether the subject of curiosity, pity, exaltation, revulsion or strategic disregard, people with disabilities and notions of disability serve to illustrate not only the `parameters' of human existence but how 'disability' may be problematised as a social construction and an important source of subjective expression. In this course, disability and ageing is examined from a sociological perspective in order to develop knowledge and awareness of attitudes, the need for advocacy and grief and loss. When working with people with disability or the older person it is important to understand how people live their lives according to perceptions of health, rehabilitation, infirmity and spiritual transcendence. This course will provide a framework for understanding disabilities and ageing and age and disability-related issues within societal contexts.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate disability and ageing from a sociological perspective
  2. Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different definitions and of major theoretical perspectives regarding disability and ageing
  3. Explore and examine how diverse social factors such as gender, ethnicity, Aboriginality, and sexuality interact with disability and ageing
  4. Analyse attitudes and the impact of disability and ageing with an emphasis on the perspectives of individuals with disabilities, their families and other significant people
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of societal attitudes and influences relating to disability and ageing and the need for advocacy
  6. Examine grief and loss experiences by individuals and family following identification of permanent disability


Description Weighting(%)
1. Theoretical Perspectives of Disability 20.00
2. Cultural Differences and Perspectives on Disabilities 20.00
3. Lived Experiences of Disability & Wellbeing across life span 20.00
4. Social Policy and Contemporary Social Movements 20.00
5. Disability and Aging around the World 10.00
6. Grief and Loss experiences 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 70.00
Directed Study 59.00
Lectures 24.00
Tutorials 12.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
MEDIA REPORT 40 40 20 Aug 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  3. If hardcopy submission is specified for a course assessment students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for a hardcopy assignment is the date by which a student must submit at USQ or despatch the assignment to USQ irrespective of holidays.

  4. USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile or email unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  5. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the American Psychological Association (APA 6th edition) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Health and Social Wellbeing degree and is benchmarked against the

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.
  2. professional accreditation standards of the Australian Community Workers Association.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at .

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.