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EDUC105 Disability Studies: An Introduction

An introduction to Disability Studies, which critically examines disability issues across a wide range of disciplines as well as different socio-cultural, political, economic, historical, legal, and educational contexts.

EDUC 105 has easily been the best and most influential paper I have ever taken at University. (Student feedback, 2013)

Disability is everywhere, once you start looking for it. This paper introduces students to Disability Studies, a multidisciplinary field of inquiry that focuses on the experiences, rights and leadership of disabled people. It is relevant to ALL students - we welcome students from ALL university divisions/disciplines.

Paper title Disability Studies: An Introduction
Paper code EDUC105
Subject Education
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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Schedule C
Arts and Music
An open mind and willingness to think.
Teaching staff
Dr Gill Rutherford
Paper Structure
Key Concepts:
  • Disability is a natural part of being human
  • Disability is about human rights
  • Understanding individuals' experiences of disability is critical in developing respectful ways of knowing about this aspect of human difference
  • Understanding people begins with a presumption of competence
  • Language matters
A list of course readings will be provided.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, global perspective, interdisciplinary perspective, lifelong learning, communication, critical thinking, cultural understanding, ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the paper, it is anticipated that students will be able to:
  1. Identify and explain the social, cultural and political dimensions of disability
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of different theoretical approaches to disability
  3. Critically analyse disabling barriers in society (e.g. cultural, attitudinal, informational, architectural, educational, economic, legal)
  4. Apply theoretical knowledge of disability in interpreting individuals' experiences across different life domains (e.g. health, education, employment, community living)
  5. Communicate personal and theoretical understandings of disability issues in a respectful manner

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22
T2 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22