Prepares students for understanding the range of disability issues they will encounter in social work practice and research. Through readings and course assignments, students will come to understand the daily life experiences of people with disabilities through their own accounts, and to critically assess social work responses to disability needs. These will be analyzed through the two major philosophical influences in disability theory today – social inclusion, and the human rights model – and will take into account both historical influences on our conceptualization of disability, and current provincial and international policies that define disability entitlement and frame our thinking about disability.
Throughout the course, practical knowledge and experience will be examined in the context of current theory and research. Students will learn that, in supporting people with disabilities, professional social workers will face numerous intriguing ethical dilemmas. These will be explored and discussed through a series of real-life case studies. A theme throughout the course is enhancing the quality of life of children and families with disabilities, especially through social participation and support for equity.