Key Strategies in Disability and Neuropathy

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Key Strategies in Disability and Neuropathy

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Behavioral Science, Biomedical Sciences, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    COURSE OBJECTIVE

    • Gain insight into the issues and intervention strategies concerning common causes of disability, using neuropathy as a model
    • Gain insight into strategies for the prevention of disabilities, rehabilitation and inclusion
    • Gain insight into various philosophical ideas about the meaning of disability and diversity: how do people experience disability, and what does this mean for the choices that matter (in management, policy and personal life)
    • Gain insight in the rights of persons with disabilities
    • Gain insight into how these ideas are influenced by innovations in the field of biomedical sciences
    • Practice research skills during the workgroups (participating in scientific discussions, formulation of research objectives, literature research, abstracting, summarising and giving feedback of findings)
    • Develop skills in formulating lines of argumentation in written and visual form through a photo essay

    COURSE CONTENT
    All over the world there are persons with disabilities who experience difficulties participating in their societies. The scale of this problem is highlighted by the World Health Survey and the Global Burden of Disease, both from 2004, which show the estimated prevalence of disability to be 15.6% and 19.4% respectively (WHO 2011). This course looks at issues surrounding disabilities, taking into account multiple perspectives, like health, social and rights. Herein we will illustrate the theoretical views on disability with disease specific examples, showing the diversity and similarities in disability issues. This would concern e.g. neuropathy caused by diabetes, leprosy, and buruli ulcer and other forms of disability like intellectual disability, autism, and ADHD. The course reviews relevant interventions and various technologies used to address health, social and environmental problems related to disability. During the course you investigate questions such as ‘How do different worldviews (including my own) influence how people see disability, ‘differentness’ and diversity? ‘What does an ideal world look like with regard to diversity?’ ‘What is the meaning of this for my own and other people’s lives?’ During the 20th century, developments and innovations in health and life sciences have resulted in an exponential growth in scientific knowledge about man, society and environment. The idea that we know who we are seems to increase, but is this truly the case? For example, what does a disability mean for our identity and our image of human nature? Innovations bring forth possibilities for new interventions and technological gadgets (e.g. bionic prosthetics, cochlear implants, microchips that enhance intelligence), but how do we select and use these? Who decides what is appropriate for whom, in particular in the majority world?

    In this course you learn to reflect on various philosophical perspectives related to disability and diversity and think about your own perspective.

    TEACHING METHODS
    Lectures, Work groups, Photo essay workshop and Q&A, Self-study

    TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
    Individual exam (60%), Group assignment: photo essay (30%), Participation in workgroups (problem-based learning) (10%)

    All three parts need to be passed individually.

    TARGET AUDIENCE
    Bachelor students from Biomedical Sciences, Health & Life, Health Sciences, bachelor programs in the natural sciences and similar bachelor programs that participate in the minor Biomedical and health interventions or in the minor Global Health.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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