Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

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, we will explore a human rights approach to disability and examine how disability politics and policy, advocacy and activism can inform what we mean by a good life.

To begin, you’ll reflect on the meaning and significance of human diversity. As you move through the topics, you will engage with different approaches to disability by examining the concepts of inclusion, access and support. At the end of the course we will challenge you to consider how you work with disability to enable a good life for all


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 the course Thinking through Disability, which introduces you to contemporary understandings of disability as a dimension of human diversity.


By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • explain disability rights through an examination of the UN Convention
  • understand the implications of justice, discrimination and equality in the lives of people with disabilities around the world
  • engage with the debates around care, support and facilitation, and explain what these concepts look like in practice
  • understand and critique key terms related to disability, such as access, inclusion and belonging
  • identify different channels for working for change
  • understand how a good life might be enabled for a diversity of people, including people with disabilities

More Info

Working with Disability is a free online course provided by Future Learning on behalf of UNSW. The course starts on 20 February 2017.

For enrolments and more information, head to https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/working-with-disability.

Kelley Johnson (BA DipEd MA PhD) is an Honorary Visting Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre UNSW.
Leanne Dowse is Associate Professor and Chair in Intellectual Disability and Behaviour Support [IDBS] at UNSW
Louisa Smith is a lecturer in the Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support Program (IDBSP), a collaboration between UNSW and the Family and Community Services (Ageing, Disability and Home Care).