DINST521-20A (NET)

Contemporary Issues in Disability and Inclusion Studies

30 Points

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Division of Education
Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education


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Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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When the first New Zealand Disability Strategy was adopted 2001 (NZDS), this document emphasised that “disabled people aspire to a good life. However, they also face huge barriers to achieving the life that so many take for granted” (NZDS, p. 1). The original Strategy was updated in 2016. However, while many gains have been made the movement towards social equality sought by disabled people and their supporters still has a long way to go. Although up to 20% of people in New Zealand have some kind of recognisable disability or difficulty, many barriers to full participation of all disabled people remain. How people who differ from normative expectations in respect of appearance and/or behavior can be treated is a feature of euro-western culture. These difficulties can affect what it might mean to live ‘a good life’ as a disabled citizen with full rights within a supportive social context. Issues of disability and inclusion are a concern for everyone – disabled and non-disabled people alike. The expertise you bring as an active and contributing member of this society to this paper is acknowledged. You are invited to share your opinions and beliefs as an integral part of this paper.

As a Disability and Inclusion Studies graduate you are expected to

  • acquire a critical understanding of the disjunction between theoretical understandings and community practices in relation to disabling conditions and inclusive practices.
  • demonstrate an emerging understanding of the key theoretical roots that underpin Disability and Inclusion Studies as an academic discipline.
  • gain a depth of knowledge about national and international perspectives, policies, literature, culture, and economic factors that determine how societies respond to the presence of (embodied) difference.
  • develop a critical understanding of methodologies that can further the emancipatory aims of Disability Studies in a national and international context.
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Paper Structure

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This 30-point paper explores key aspects of the contemporary political, social and educational spaces in which ideas and practices related to disability and inclusion are formed and debated. The content of this paper considers a key contemporary theory that has been influential in the development of authentic and agentic practices of inclusion in the last decade. The framework adopted in this paper is designed to assist students’ understanding about disability/inclusion from a rights and beyond-rights point of view. A number of texts, required readings and audio & visual resource materials are used to expand on the contemporary issues explored in this paper.

This paper is taught fully online

Online Discussion Requirements

The expectation for contact times for this paper is that you are on-line for between 24-36 hours over the course of the paper.

Each week there will be a group discussion based on the information you are working with. Participation is required so you can engage more deeply with key ideas about disability and inclusion, thus making your learning in this paper more effective. Students working on-campus participate in one 3 hour session per week for a maximum of 10 weeks. To maintain parity it is expected that on-line students will post a minimum of three times into a weekly on-line discussion for a maximum of 10 weeks. This expectation is in addition to your independent study time. Post lengths will vary according to the topic. However between 150-200 words is the expectation for students working at post-graduate level.

Initially the topic for the week will be set by the coordinator. However as the paper proceeds individuals may be asked to start discussion topics based on their reading/investigations.

Information about how to contact tutors involved in this paper appears at the beginning of the paper outline. A class representative for this paper will also be sought.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the “Family of Social Approaches” that underpin a disability rights philosophy
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Ableism Mind-map and Reflection Written Exercise (1)
  • gain insight into the idea that ability-related preferences and judgments underpin many rules about social behaviour and customs related to impairment effects and disabling conditions
    This assessment links to assignments 1,2 and 3
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • show an in-depth understanding of research related to a variety of wider views about a particular issue related to disability and inclusion
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Individual Literature Review Topic (3)
  • form the basis for an academically defensible position regarding a theoretical framework for future research in the area of disability and inclusion
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate improved oral and audio-visual presentation skills
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Contemporary Issue - Powerpoint presentation (2)
    Individual Literature Review Topic (3)
  • show evidence of improved independent and scholarly writing skills
    Linked to the following assessments:
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All assessment tasks must be completed in order to pass this course. Completion dates may vary from those stated on the paper outline. You will be informed of any changes as they occur.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Ableism Mind-map and Reflection Written Exercise
16 Apr 2020
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Contemporary Issue - Powerpoint presentation
17 May 2020
10:00 PM
  • Other: Online - through Moodle
3.  Individual Literature Review Topic
7 Jun 2020
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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An electronic reading list is available electronically via the Reading List for DINST 521-20A. You can access these via the Reading List tab on Moodle or via the Reading Lists tab on the library homepage (https://www.waikato.ac.nz/library/ (https://www.waikato.ac.nz/library/). The Reading List will be added to from time to time and you will be notified if there is a set reading to guide/ assist your online discussion each week.


The librarian for this paper is Mel Chivers https://www.waikato.ac.nz/library/contact/staff/mel-chivers/

She can be contacted by email mchivers@waikato.ac.nz or phone 07 837 9129

Useful Library Readings List

Bolt, D. (2018). Cultural disability studies in education: Interdisciplinary navigations of the normative divide. Routledge.

Davis, L. J. (2016). The disability studies reader. Routledge.

Darling, R. B. (2014). Disability and identity: Negotiating self in a changing society. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Donaldson, E.J. (Ed.), (2018). Literatures of madness: Disability studies and mental health. Palgrave Macmillan.

Gill, M., & Schlund-Vials, C. J. (2016). Disability, human rights and the limits of humanitarianism. Routledge.

Kumari Campbell, F. (2009). Contours of ableism: The production of disability and abledness. NEW York, N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Linton, S. (1998). Claiming disability: Knowledge and identity. NYU Press.

Marks, D. (2014). Disability: Controversial debates and psychosocial perspectives. Routledge.

Scuro, J. (2017). Addressing ableism: Philosophical questions via disability studies. Maryland, USA: Lexington Books.

Wappett, M., & Arndt, K. (Eds.). (2013). Emerging perspectives on disability studies. Springer.

Please note: You are requested to choose one book to begin your critical reading requirement

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Recommended Readings

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Useful Journal Sources
Critical Disability Studies (website with information about articles)
Centre for Disability Studies Publications
Disability & Society
Disability Studies Quarterly
Journal of Disability Policy Studies
The Review of Disability Studies
Tizard Centre ReviewOther journals as required

Useful New Zealand Sources
New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies (hard-copy only)
Office of Disability Issues
Human Rights Commission

Ministry of Education

Useful Web Sources

Disabled People’s International – Asia/Pacific Region http://www.dpiap.org/news/detail.php?typeid=1&newsid=0000293

Disabled People’s International- Europe

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Online Support

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This paper uses Moodle as its primary source of instruction
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The following are the minimum expectations for students’ workload for a postgraduate paper

300/700 Level Paper = 300 hours
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This is a required paper for the PGDip(Dins)/MDInS.

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Restricted papers: HDCO521

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