This module seeks to ground our ways of thinking about Accessible Education in historical context, and to offer a conceptual foundation for the application-focused modules that follow. It will do this by:

  • Outlining several perspectives that can be used to understand disability and the historical and contemporary treatment of people with disabilities;
  • Describing forms of prejudice and discrimination that disabled people face; and
  • Highlighting the disability community’s organizing and advocacy work to challenge and remedy this harmful and unfair treatment.

It is important for us as educators to understand this history of exclusion and marginalization so that we can more thoughtfully and intentionally address it by facilitating accessibility in teaching and learning.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Differentiate between the Medical Model Approach to disability and the Social and Human Rights Model Approaches to disability;
  • Define and give an example of ableism;
  • Appreciate the history of disability communities and their organizing and advocacy work to promote accessibility and inclusion; and
  • List several considerations that may inform how a person with a disability self-identifies or labels their experiences.

If you are already quite familiar with this contextual material and would like to advance to the next module, this link will allow you to do so. Remember though, that in order to satisfy completion requirements, you will need to successfully pass a quiz that includes content from this section.


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