Skip main navigation

Valuing human flourishing

In this video, different people with disabilities describe what it means for them to live a good life.

Throughout this course, we have been thinking about what living a good life means to us as individuals.

In Week 1, we came up with ideas such as caring, inter-dependence, truthfulness, belonging, meaningfulness, respect, dignity and intimacy. The concept of flourishing also resonated with many of us.

In each of our everyday lives we negotiate these different values. But the outcome is also dependent on the different constraints in our lives and the kinds of power we have over making choices. As illuminated by some of the examples from this course, the values of independence, choice and control are seen as important to achieving a good life by many people with disabilities. And as you saw in Week 3, many of the disability campaigns and rights movements have been directed at increasing the power of people with disabilities and removing barriers to exercising these values.

portraits of the five guest speakers, laughing and smiling

While making this course, we asked our guest presenters — Antoni, Duncan, Steve, Jordanna and Vivienne — to reflect on their ideas of a good life as they relate to values like independence and inter-dependence, reason and emotion, and choice and control. In the video above, they share their responses.

A link to an audio description of this video is available in the See Also section below.

Talking points

Reflect on the video, and consider the following questions:

  • What are some of the ingredients that make up a good life for these presenters?
  • What kind of emphasis do the presenters in the film give to values like choice, control and independence? Are there other values they mention?
  • How does disability feature in their understandings of a good life?
  • In thinking about a good life, how much emphasis do they give to the importance of external barriers or factors, and how much to the impact of their individual situations?

Expand your interests — We encourage you to share your personal strategies for living a good life in Step: 6.9: Personal strategies for living a good life.

In the next step we reflect on these stories and introduce the week.

This article is from the free online

Disability and a Good Life: Thinking through Disability

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now