• University of New South Wales

Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

Learn how disability intersects with human rights, and how a good life can be made possible for everyone.

8,525 enrolled on this course

Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Weekly study5 hours
  • CertificatesAvailable

Work with disability to enable a good life for yourself and others

Today we recognise disability as a part of human diversity. But what does it mean to work with disability in a way that enables a good life for ourselves and others?

In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with some of the big issues facing disabled people, governments, and societies. You’ll explore human rights approaches to disability and critically examine the concepts of inclusion, access and support. You’ll also learn about disability politics and policy, advocacy and activism, and consider how to work with disability at multiple levels to enable a good life for all.

What topics will you cover?

  • The importance of valuing human diversity, inclusion and belonging
  • The implications of discrimination and barriers to access in the lives of people with disabilities
  • Definitions of disability, human rights, access, care, support and contribution
  • The significance of international human rights frameworks, including the UNCRPD
  • What care and support look like in practice
  • The diverse ways that people with disabilities contribute to society
  • Advocacy and activism as channels for working for change

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify and explain what a good life might mean for a diversity of people, including people with disabilities
  • Evaluate the importance of listening to the ideas and life experiences of people with disabilities
  • Explain disability rights through an examination of international human rights frameworks, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  • Explain how discrimination and barriers impact the lives of people with disabilities
  • Explore an understanding of access as having different patterns that can enable and disable
  • Critically engage with debates around care and support, and explain what these concepts look like in practice
  • Critically reflect on what we identify and value as contribution – economically, culturally and personally
  • Explore channels for working for change at individual, local and global levels

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for both beginners and experts wanting to raise their awareness of disability and disability-related issues within a global context. It is appropriate for people with disabilities and their family members, friends and allies; professionals in the care and community service sectors; medical and allied health professionals; educators; built environment professionals; advocates and policy makers; scholars; and lifelong learners.

Working with Disability is an appropriate follow-up to its sister course, Thinking through Disability, which introduces you to contemporary understandings of disability as a dimension of human diversity.

Who will you learn with?

I am an academic at UNSW Australia with more than twenty years experience in disability studies and in working for social change in the ways we understand and respond to disability.

I am a professor of disability policy and practice at the Social Policy Research Centre UNSW.I have undertaken research for twenty years with people with disabilities in Australia and internationally

I'm a Lecturer at UNSW, Australia. I'm interested in the relationship between disability, social policy and social change. I think it's really important that universities share knowledge clearly.

Karen Soldatic is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2016 – 2019) at the Institute of Culture and Society, Western Sydney University.

Who developed the course?

UNSW Sydney

Established in 1949 with a unique focus on the scientific, technological and professional disciplines, UNSW is a leading Australian university committed to making a difference

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript


Statement of Participation


Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: