DINST521-21A (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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: nia.sugiharto@waikato.ac.nz

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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New Zealand has a Disability Strategy that aligns policy and practice in Disability and Social Inclusion with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of people with disabilities UNCRPD . The NZ Disability Strategy vision is that "New Zealand is a non-disabling society – a place where disabled people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations, and all of New Zealand works together to make this happen" New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016 - 2026 (2016, p.6) . It is estimated that 24% of people in New Zealand identify as experiencing a disability Disability Survey 2013. In 2018 national statistics across three surveys identified what is called the 'disability gap'. This indicates that there is 17.7 percentage point gap between the self reported overall life satisfaction of people with disability compared to people who do not identify as experiencing disability in New Zealand Stats NZ Measuring inequality for disabled New Zealanders: 2018. Globally this picture is similar with people with disabilities in some countries living lives in complete isolation from society and the social and economic opportunities of other citizens. Disability intersects with other life experiences like gender, culture and sexuality that can further disadvantage and work as barriers to ' a good life' for people with disabilities. Taking a socio-political and rights position this paper encourages students to develop and contribute to a critical perspective on contemporary questions about disability and inclusion.

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 disability
•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 paper will run as one combined paper incorporating NET and HAM throughout Semester A 2021. Instructions for the week will be posted each week on Moodle and the site regularly checked and updated as needed throughout the week for student questions and engagement.


The content of this 30 point paper considers key contemporary theories of disability and inclusion that are influential in shaping the lived experiences of people with disabilities. The critical framework adopted in this paper is designed to assist students to develop an understanding about disability and inclusion that can be applied across disciplines and social systems including education. A number of texts, required readings and audio and visual resource materials are used to expand on the contemporary issues explored in this paper.

Paper points bear a direct relationship to workload, one point equates to approximately 10 hours' total work, so a student might expect to spend about 300 hours in total during a trimester. For this paper, this means 20-25 hours per week for reading, research, contributing to online discussions, and working on assignments.

Online Discussion Requirements
Each week there will be a group discussion via Zoom. The links will be posted on Moodle. 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 will join this from the designated room at the timetabled time (TA.206 2.00pm - 5.00pm). NET students will join remotely. If you are a NET student and you cannot join at the allocated time the session will be recorded and uploaded to Moodle. To enable direct contact other 'drop in' sessions will be made available via a regular Zoom link. All students are expected to post regularly on the discussion forum. Posts of around 150-200 words are adequate and students should aim to post at least once on each of the 6 topics. A discussion forum for each session will be set up on Moodle.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • gain insight into what Ableism is and how it impacts on social inclusion
    This assessment links to assignments 1,2 and 3
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate an understanding of the contemporary models and theories that underpin a disability rights philosophy
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Ableism Mind-map and Reflection Written Exercise (1)
  • 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 and requirements for extension applications are outlined below. Alls assessment tasks are to be uploaded on Moodle using turnitin.
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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 2021
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Contemporary Issue - Powerpoint presentation
16 May 2021
10:00 PM
  • Other: Online - through Moodle
3.  Individual Literature Review Topic
6 Jun 2021
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 521-21A. 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

Suggested list of books - students are encouraged to choose one to read throughout the trimester

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.

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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 is supported in Moodle
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This is a 30 point paper. Paper points bear a direct relationship to workload, one point equates to approximately 10 hours' total work, so a student might expect to spend about 300 hours in total during a semester. For this paper, this means 20-25 hours per week for reading, research, contributing to online discussions, and working on assignments.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This is a required paper for the PGDip(Dins)/MDInS and is linked to DINST521(NET)

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Restricted papers: HDCO521

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