Course Outline

SWK286 Disability: Culture, Community and Change

Course Coordinator:Melissa Dor ( School:School of Law and Society

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Fraser Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Attitudes to, and understanding of people with disabilities have changed over time. This course looks at the provision of services and support for people with disabilities. It examines the cultural and philosophical approaches to understanding, and providing for the care. Normalisation; human rights; economic; mutual obligation models; instrumentalities for people with disabilities, and ethical considerations in quality are also explored. The application of these to decisions about professional interventions, strategies and service standards are examined.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 1 hour online weekly content required for workshops and assessment preparation 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Face-to-Face tutorial based on learning material provided. 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – 1 hour online content necessary for workshops and assessment completion 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled online tutorial 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • What is Disability?
  • Models of Disability
  • Society and Culture 
  • Legislation
  • Human Rights
  • NDIS
  • Disability and Family Carers
  • Lived Experience
  • Needs and Support Services

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Australian Association of Social Workers
1 Have an understanding and explanation of the historical and philosophical foundations of the concepts and approaches to disability Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 5, 5.1, 5.3, 6, 6.3, 7, 7.1
2 An ability to use progressive theories to critique modernist understandings of, interventions applied and their impact on people living with a 'disability'. Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 4, 4.1, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.3, 7, 7.1
3 An understanding of the integration of critical theory in understanding and responding to current issues in complex and uncertain contexts. Creative and critical thinker
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 4, 4.1, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.3, 7, 7.1
4 Analyse and assess the relationship between individual and collective responses to 'disability' and their implication for practice and service users Sustainability-focussed
1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 4, 4.1, 4.4, 5, 5.1, 5.3, 6, 6.3, 7, 7.1
5 Apply interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and values relating to the study of 'disability' Empowered
2, 2.2, 3, 3.1, 4, 4.1, 4.4, 6, 6.3

* Competencies by Professional Body

Australian Association of Social Workers
1 Values and ethics
1.1 Practise in accordance with the AASW Code of Ethics
1.2 Manage ethical dilemmas and issues arising in practice
2 Professionalism
2.1 Represent the social work profession with integrity and professionalism
2.2 Behave in a professional manner and be accountable for all actions and decisions
3 Culturally responsive and inclusive practice
3.1 Work inclusively and respectfully with cultural difference and diversity
4 Knowledge for practice
4.1 Understand higher level systemic influences on people with respect to area of practice
4.2 Understand and articulate social work and other relevant theories and concepts
4.4 Understand and articulate how and when theories, knowledge bases and knowledge sources inform practice
5 Applying knowledge to practice
5.1 Assess and analyse needs to inform practice
5.3 Use a range of social work methods and techniques appropriate to the area of practice
6 Communication and interpersonal skills
6.3 Work with others in a team environment
7 Information recording and sharing
7.1 Record and manage information appropriately

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Early feedback of comprehension of course materials will be provided in tutorials

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Artefact - Creative, and Oral Individual 25%
8-10 minute recorded Powerpoint presentation
Week 5 Online Submission
All 2 Oral Group 30%
Each group will present for approximately 10 minutes
Week 8 In Class
All 3 Artefact - Professional Individual 45%
2000 words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Photovoice Advocacy
Explore your local community and take photos which may be symbolic or illustrative of a topic or social issue related to disabilities and critically reflect on the content.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Oral
Voiceover power point presentation with a minimum of 5 photos.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Content should be relevant, detailed and critical, recognising conflicting theories and explanations
1 2 4
Demonstrate an understanding of the implications theoretical formulations have on people with disability, the basis of service provision and social policy and legal frameworks
1 2 3 4 5
Demonstrate originality and independence of thought.
2 4
Be reflective of own future professional practice
3 4 5
All - Assessment Task 2:Group Presentation
Group presentation on critical issues related to disabilities
Product: Oral
In class small group presentation during tutorials. Format details will be provided on the course site. This activity provides an opportunity for you to both develop and verify your understanding of the ideas and concepts encountered in the course.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
The ability to critically analyse the barriers which prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in society
1 4
Ability to articulate the main (key) players, whose work/activities promoted the awareness of these issues. What contribution did the person(s) make to rethinking/critiquing understanding of disability in society?
1 3 4
The ability to articulate your own understanding and stance on the issue
1 2 3 4
Clear evidence of careful reading in the planning, preparation and writing and presenting
Ability to present orally and contribute to knowledge from your own perspective to the group regarding critical issues in the area of disability
All - Assessment Task 3:NDIS support plan
Development of a professional NDIS support plan
Product: Artefact - Professional
Development of a professional NDIS support plan based on a case study. Details provided on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identify relevant legislation and policies relating to Persons with Disabilities
2 3
Evaluate the impact and application of such legislation and policy.
3 4 5
Articulate an understanding of your developing professional self with regards to legislation and disability.
Critical analysis of services provided to support people with disabilities.
4 5

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.


Period and Topic Activities

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890