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Exploring Exceptionalities

Course Code: CCSD 1170
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 1.5
Semester: Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Online, Partially Online
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

In this survey course, students will investigate a variety of disability classification systems and the developmental characteristics of persons with exceptionalities. This includes an examination of the etiology, diagnosis and other implications of developmental disabilities.

Course Content

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

  • Individuals with disabilities are unique, though they may carry a label of disability.
  • Effective practitioners have an awareness of disability classification and funding systems and use this knowledge as a tool of support.
  • Effective practitioners are aware of typical characteristics of a variety of disability types and how that might affect support

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture
  • Small Group Work
  • Student Presentations
  • Online

Means of Assessment

This is a letter graded course

  • Quizzes
  • Group Presentations
  • Case Study
  • Blog and/or Wiki

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Explain various disability classification systems as they relate to disability definitions, assessment and diagnosis

- Investigate terminology used in disability classifications systems

- Consider the historical progression of disability classification systems

- Define disability in the Canadian context

- Compare and contrast the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) with other classification and assessment models, e.g. AAIDD, ICD, ICF, DM-ID, RTI

2. Describe characteristics of a variety of mental and physical disability labels

- Examine the etiology, prevalence and incidence of various major disability labels

- Compare and contrast types of disability, i.e. cognitive versus physical; invisible versus visible; acquired versus development; progressives versus intermittent versus stable

- Consider the additional complexities of dual  (multiple) diagnosis

- Keep in mind that a disability is what someone has, not what someone is and that knowledge about a disability type is only a single tool in supporting an individual who has a disability

3. Explore the eligibility to funding for typical support and treatment services for several disability labels.

- Describe the assessment process for several exceptionalities, such as ASD, FASD, mental illnesses, intellectual disability

- Describe the funding eligibility and process for several exceptionalities, such as ASD, FASD, mental illness and intellectual disability.

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.