Perspectives on Disability

Applied Community Studies
Disability & Community Studies
Course Code
DACS 1270
Semester Length
2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is designed to expose students to a variety of perspectives regarding disability. Content topics will include typical responses to diversity, language and labels, disability theory, models of disability, disability culture, advocacy and self advocacy.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. Disability is one example of diversity. Individual reactions to diversity can sometimes align with social polity and sometimes conflict. How people view disability depends on context, definition and intent.
  2. Language and labels both create and confirm perspectives regarding disability. Language is a dynamic social construct.
  3. There are a number of models of disability that can be examined to better understand history, power and perspective as individual and social views relate to disability.
  4. Understanding the theoretical and political underpinnings of oppression contributes to a greater understanding of minority rights.
  5. Disability Cultures are a powerful positive force for members of oppressed groups.
  6. The roles of advocacy, being an ally and being a self-advocate, while related are particular and unique.
  7. The disability community has responded to a number of controversial social policy issues that include medical assistance in dying, genetic counselling, charity fundraising, special purpose schools, etc.
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Small Group Work
  • Readings
  • Video
  • Guest speakers
  • Student Presentations
Means of Assessment

 This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

  • Portfolio
  • Presentations
  • Quiz
  • Projects
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

 1. Examine how society and culture influence perspectives about disability

  • Examine own values, language and perspective regarding disability
  • Compare and contrast several theoretical models of disability such as moral, medical, developmental, social, and affirmative
  • Describe Autistic, Disability, Mad and Deaf cultures origins, purpose & influence
  • Investigate international perspectives regarding disability

2. Investigate critical disability theory

  • Define disability theory and trace its historical development
  • Consider context and influence of critical disability theory on current policy and practice
  • Contrast and compare disability rights with other minority/civil rights movements

3. Identify opportunities and evaluate context for self-advocacy, advocacy and support

  • Describe what advocacy means for people with disabilities, their personal support networks and practitioners
  • Review historical examples of advocacy opportunities, e.g., right to die/live, court challenges, bio-medical ethics, etc.
  • Reflect on what values, skills and resources contribute to effective self-advocacy and support
  • Describe “self-determination” and appreciate that everyone has gifts and capacities
Textbook Materials








Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for DACS 1270
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) No credit
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU PSYC 2XX (1.5)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) No credit
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CYC 2XX (1.5)
University of Victoria (UVIC) No credit

Course Offerings

Winter 2023