Title: Disability and Development
Keywords: Human development
Health systems
Country: United Kingdom
Institution: UK - Institute for Global Health, University College London
Course coordinator: Mary Wickenden
Date start: 2018-02-19
Date end: 2018-03-09
About duration and dates: 3 weeks & 2 days pre- reading. All contact time is within the first two weeks, the third week is for private study and essay preparation.
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: Institute for Global Health
ECTS credit points: 6 ECTS credits
SIT: 150 hours
(42 contact hours), 108 self-study hours)
22 hours lectures, 20 hours seminars/tutorials/field visit. 58 hours private reading. 50 hours assignment For further information see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/igh/postgraduate/troped-optional
Language: English
At the end of the module students will be able to:

- Compare historical terminology and definitions of disability and how contemporary models and concepts have evolved in parallel with other human rights movements
- Describe and debate current attitudes and beliefs in relation to disability and critique the ways in which these intersect with diverse aspects of culture and with other aspects of development theory and practice
- Evaluate the impact of key international legislation, guidelines and movements concerning disability and be able to relate these to policy and practice planning options. Relateways in which issues in disability are linked to those in health, education and community development services in diverse settings
- Compare the development of different models of community disability services in relation to current thinking about disability.
- Explain and critique the various processes involved in planning disability services particularly in resource poor settings and in monitoring and evaluating such work
- Examine the particular issues in doing research which arise in relation to disability and discuss potential solutions for these. Critically analyse current issues concerning mainstreaming, inclusion and development
- Analyse and critique current ideas and research relating to the topics presented in the module
Assessment Procedures:
Essay 3000 words

The essay will be on broad, theoretical focussed aspects of the module and will demand that the students read, understand and critique relevant literature introduced during the course. There will be a choice of topics (students do one out of 5 titles). Students can make use of their own regional or professional experience in writing the essay and can chose to focus their answer on a particular region in order to narrow the task.

If a student does not successfully pass the assignment they will receive tutorial support to help to improve their performance and will have an opportunity to resubmit an improved version of the assignment.
The module explores historical and contemporary concepts of and issues in disability, and links these to major issues in community development. It presents international legislation in relation to disability and considers the cultural and sociopolitical contexts in which this has developed, and then reflects on the range of options for service delivery available for people with disabilities, their families and communities in diverse cultural settings worldwide.

- Detailed study of the history and development of terminology and attitudes to disability
- In-depth exploration of major disability models, international legislation, documentation and movements.
- Examination of the relationships between disability issues and other major socio-political movements and issues (e.g. gender, poverty, human rights, conflict, social inclusion and mainstreaming).
- Anthropological and sociological theories of disability and the way that culture intersects with community development.
- Critique of the major models of service delivery for disabled people, and their links with different sectors (health, education, employment, social development).
- Issues of information transfer and appropriate technology in the disability arena
- Disabled people’s movements and involvement in development. Disabled people as change agents
- Research methods in disability including identification and surveying in diverse settings and participatory and emancipatory approaches (e.g. at the policy, population, community and or individual levels)
The module draws on the diverse experiences of the participants as well as on the body of literature and research in the subject area. Critical analysis and reflection will be stimulated particularly in order to make links and comparisons between theoretical and practical concerns in the disability arena with an emphasis on middle and low income settings.

Learning activities for this module include lectures, tutorials, workshops, student presentations, self-study and critical review activities and usually an optional field visit to a flagship inclusive school or a disability focussed NGO in London.
English language proficiency

IELTS Standard level: Overall grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests.

TOEFL Standard level: Score of 94, plus 24/30 in the reading and writing subtests and 23/30 in the listening and speaking subtests.

For full details, see:


12 - 18 students
The number of trop Ed places on the module is determined after IGH MSc candidates have chosen their optional modules (normally in early October). TropEd applicants wishing to secure a place should apply and pay fees before this period. They will be placed on a waiting list for the module. Applicants who have paid will be notified as soon as it is confirmed whether places are available. TropEd applicants are awarded places on a first-paid, first-admitted basis. Full course fee refunds will be provided to paid-up applicants if there are no places on the module(s) for which they applied, or if the module is cancelled.
GBP: 850
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Last year we made a change to the assignment, as there were previously two components and this was seen to be heavy on assessment. Instead we introduced a slightly longer essay with more choice of titles. This has been successful and they all were chosen roughly equal times by students. We now use electronic marking and have regularised and formalised the way that feedback is given which students like. Detailed comments are made in the text and in a summary comment section.
Student evaluation:
All taught sessions were rated as very good or good. 100% of students found the resources and reading material useful or very useful
86% of students thought the number of topics taught was about right
100% of students reported that what they had learnt was very useful or quite useful for their future work
86% enjoyed the module very much or quite a lot

Examples of positive comments from 2012 are:
Question: What did you like about the module?

1 the visit lectures by disabled people, it was very enlightening especially by Katie (disabled woman)
1 Hearing from charities and disabled researchers
1 I really enjoyed all the lectures but I thought that having lecturers with disabilities themselves was especially useful/interesting.
1 Meeting disabled people
1 The range of guest speakers and excellent discussion facilitated by Mary.
1 Very interactive, small group
It wasn't long enough! I enjoyed it a lot and felt just over two weeks of teaching hours was too short.
1 Needed to be longer
1 The balance between theory and practice

Examples of areas for improvement from 2012 are:

Unfortunately one guest lecturer did not turn up and thus this topic was covered by guided reading rather than direct teaching. This was due to a misunderstanding.
Lessons learned:
Some changes to guest lecturers have been made. Those with poor feedback in 2011 were not used in 2012, and constructive feedback re content and style has been given to those who are returning. Two newly introduced contributors were given very high satisfaction ratings in 2012. More thorough briefing of new guest lecturers has been done, as part of broader discussions about collaboration with them.
tropEd accreditation:
Re-accredited in Paris, May 2008. Re-accredited in Ocotber 2013. This acreditation is valid untilOctober 2018.
This is the latest version of a module which has been running in our department for more than 20 years. We have a worldwide reputation for research and teaching on disability in low income settings with a particular emphasis on community based rehabilitation. The module has consistently been very highly rated by students, although we have of course been responsive to feedback and the content has evolved over time and to changes in theory, legislation, policy and practice in the field. In line with current thinking about disability, we see it as important to present it as a development rather than a predominantly health issue and to emphasise a mainstreaming approach as the only viable one.

We have always used some external lecturers from NGOs with whom we have longstanding relationships (e.g. Motivation, Handicap International, Sightsavers). In addition we have close relationship with colleagues in the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre at UCL and have contributions from their team (eg on conflict, poverty, policy analysis). All contributors are experienced fieldworkers, and/or researchers in the field of disabiltiy and development. We also have three sessions led by disabled people with relevant research or work experience. The module coordinator however provides links and continuity by chairing and hosting the guest lecture sessions.

The module uses a combination of in-house teaching staff and guest lecturers including those from a number of international disability NGOs and from colleagues in other disability focussed units within UCL.
Email Address: a.gilry@ucl.ac.uk
Date Of Record Creation: 2012-01-11 23:10:48 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2012-01-12 05:44:24 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2017-09-12 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2017-10-10 16:06:59 (W3C-DTF)

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