Disability and Modern Society

Week 2 and 3 – Disability and Modern Society


This is a two-week assignment.  Instructions for both are spelled out below.

For some of you this is your first disability studies course.  For others you have some experience with these topics.  This may then be new for some and review for others. The text we are using for this assignment has a more international focus as it was published in Australia, however, I find that much of what they discuss is universal in nature and can be applied to US systems and experiences. 

In this assignment we are going to look at belief systems and disability services but also some current shortages in community services and what impacts that has on those that need those supports and are entitled to them as a part of their civil rights. (Note: some of what you will see is disturbing).

Read the first three chapters in the Community Disability Services text (available on D2L) and watch the videos linked later in this assignment.  It is important to understand not only the basics about disability and the services needed but also how those services are set up and the beliefs that has historically driven these services. Although we are not going to devote a great deal of time exploring the various types of models of disability it will be helpful to understand that there are different models that have helped to develop and still inform how and where services are provided.  One of the prevalent models is the Medical Model – which defines disability as a deficit in the individual that needs to be fixed or cured.  Another prominent model is the Charity model – which has led to societal beliefs that those with disabilities need to be cared for and/or pitied. Another somewhat prevalent model is the Moral model which states that disability exists because of sin or because a person has made poor choices of the person or a member of their family. Over recent years, the disability community has been pushing toward more expansive use of the social or social justice models of disability in which we recognize that it is not about the individual but about the barriers that society creates and puts in the way of those with physical and mental impairments.  The most common of these, and most difficult to change are attitudinal barriers.

Assignment Instructions

Please follow the assignment instructions carefully to achieve success.  The instructions are repeated in every assignment for your convenience.

1. Assignments are to be submitted to the appropriate Assignments tool in the Assessments drop down menu.

2. Assignments may be submitted in the following formats: text, audio files, video or info. graphic. 

3. Save your files simply.  Once you upload and submit your assignment go back and view your submission.  It should have the proper extension such as assn1.dox, assn1.ppt, etc. There should be no symbols in the title indicating it is a temporary file.  Try to open your file after submitting it to the dropbox. 

4. Submit your assignment in one file with all of the individual questions clearly labeled.  Proof and spell check your submission. 

6. Please read the late policy and assignment submission instructions in the syllabus. 

7. Check the course schedule for the assignment due dates.

8. You must submit the assignment by the due date and time. 

9. Check your Metro State student email frequently.  If I see your assignment in time and it cannot be opened I will email you.

11. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your assignment.

12. Personal or technical problems do not excuse late work.

13. Complete assignments in your own words or images.  You may use a few short quotations, but include quotation marks and your source.  The direct quote should not be more than 10% of the response.

14. Responses should generally be at least 150 words per prompt.  This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but more of a guideline for you to be sure you are providing substantial evidence that you have gained knowledge from the course materials and can connect it to either your lived experiences or to your work.

15. Be certain to cite ALL materials you use to formulate your submission.  This includes your textbooks, websites, personal interviews, etc.

Please make use of the resources available to you including the Writing Center and Center for Online Learning.  Help numbers for CAE and COL are included in your syllabus.

Sample word count of 150 words:

“This segment on You Tube contained information on lead poisoning.  There are over 1 million children in the United States who are considered to have high amounts of lead in their blood.  There is currently no lead allowable in gasoline or paint in the U.S., however, out of the 186 countries, only 16 of them have outlawed lead in their gasoline.  Lead interacts with a wide range of enzymes in the body, and there have been several tests completed indicating there is a correlation of lead with cognitive, physical development and emotional affects.  Even what is considered low to medium levels of lead has been linked with ADHD, aggressive and anti-social behaviors.  This segment did not talk about what caused the high amounts of lead in the blood.  Lead is contained in cookware, older homes where paint was used that contained lead, lead water pipes, including many chemicals in the environment. “150 words (courtesy of a former student, note this example does not include the required connections to lived experiences or how the information could be applied to your work.)

Assignment Readings and Research – Required


Chapters 1, 2 and 3 from the Community Disability Services text which can be accessed through D2L. https://mnscu-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/ln7236dj_minnstate_edu/EXvRvvS4EchBqXGnEiwjfsEBywOY14XY3IqkZ7bhC-G2Vw?e=CS5cBY


A Broken System Is Failing Thousands of Americans with Disabilities – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKXSg2HiVY4

Pandemic means Americans with disabilities aren’t getting the services they need


Caregiving Crisis Affecting Hundreds of Families of those with Disabilities


Assignment Questions

Regardless of what format you choose to use to submit your assignment, text, video, audio or graphic, keep the following in mind.

  • The response should be in your own words/images. 
  • You may use a brief direct quote, cited appropriately as long as it does not account for more than 10% of the assignment. 
  • Include the page number from where you obtained your information, any additional sources such as websites and direct quotes should be referenced properly. Points will be deducted if not present when requested.
  • This is a reflection on what you have learned from the material.  I expect to see connections to your lived experiences or if you do not have a direct connection through your experiences tell me how you would use this information in your work going forward.  Examples would be somethings like – While I was going through the material for this week I remembered when I was a kid and our church would volunteer once a month at a facility for children with disabilities.  The facility was broken out into different “houses” all a part of the larger complex…..  or I think having more knowledge about disability history will help me when working with clients as I can better understand where they may be coming from such as …..

Assignments are graded using a three-level rubric, proficient, emerging and beginning.  An answer that is proficient will clearly reflect solid understanding of course and texts; uses specific textual evidence; shows depth of insight; product is authentically connected to the student.  An answer that is Emerging will reflect understanding of course and texts; reflections and/or product are somewhat superficial or do not explicitly connect to the student. Finally, an answer that is beginning will share but not in much depth; no connection to course or texts and/or no connection to student.

I strongly encourage you to submit your answers in the format that fits your leaning style best.  Remember, if you choose to do a video and you also provide closed captions for the video you will receive extra credit (for a maximum of 5 assignments).  If you choose to do an audio file and provide a transcript you will also receive extra credit (for a maximum of 5 assignments).  If you choose to create an info graphic if you make it screen reader accessible including alt text on your images I will also give extra credit (up to 5 assignments).  Have fun, try something different. There is more information about ways to make video and audio files in the content section of the course site.

Learning Activities:

Required ActivitiesPoints
From Chapter 1:   Identify and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of the three different approaches to defining disability outlined in this chapter.16
From Chapter 1:   Locate sources of information about disability services in your community. For example, you may find listings from the web, State, County or local agencies, or people you know or work with.  16
From Chapter 2:   Describe what being of service means as opposed to giving service. For example, a disability service worker who is of service may be genuinely interested in the concerns and wishes of the people with disability they support.16
From Chapter 3:   Identify some barriers to the implementation of person-centered approaches in disability services.16
From the videos:   Discuss why you believe disability services should or should not have limited community options. 16

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