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Why study Disability and Participation?

6 reasons to study disability and participation at the University of Sydney
Are you passionate about changing the way people with a disability are included and supported in communities? The Disability and Participation major can help you learn the skills and knowledge to create an inclusive society.

1. See the world differently

The structure of the Disability and Participation major/minor program covers a wide range of topics. Through a critical disability theoretical perspective, you will explore disability across the lifespan, considering human rights and decolonisation.  You will also learn about assistive technology, community development, interdisciplinary collaboration and inclusive approaches to research, practice and governance.

2. Be taught by experts in disability and participation

The teaching team for the Disability and Participation major/minor will grow over the coming years as the program expands. The current unit coordinators have extensive industry links, collaborating with industry partners to keep up to date with the rapidly evolving disability sector. Academic staff have specialised experience working with people with a disability and contemporary disability organisations. Staff include:

3. Learn from and work with people with lived experience and industry partners

People with lived experience of disability and service delivery will be part of the teaching team throughout the program of study. The final year selectives include an opportunity to complete a collaboratively developed industry project. You will be part of a team with people who honour lived experience, the business, the research and the theory.


Alyssa Chia
Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Sports Science) student

"It is the role of our community to provide those living with disabilities with equal opportunity to participate in society. Those living with disabilities should not have to “out” themselves in order to receive support or go out of their way in order to live the life they want. Through this subject I have learnt to better understand the needs of those living with disability in our community and feel empowered to enact change and conversation in the community."


4. Study with students from different courses

At the University of Sydney any student from any faculty who can take an interdisciplinary second major or a minor as part of their degree in any discipline or field is able to enrol in the Disability and Participation stream. Students can also take individual units as electives. You will be part of an interdisciplinary movement with students from a variety of faculties, allowing you to share experiences and learn from your peers as well as your teachers. 

5. Flexible study options

Our interdisciplinary Disability and Participation stream is designed to include a variety of students from across the university. The program can be taken up as single selective units within your main program of study; as a major with core units and selectives; or as a minor with core units only.

6. Broaden your career opportunities

Wherever your career takes you, the deep and broad learning about Disability and Participation will be relevant in a world where people with disability are represented. The disability services sector is growing at an exponential rate with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance scheme (NDIS) and increased supports for ageing Australians. We are also seeing an expanding focus on the needs of people with a disability in many areas such as local government, business support, tourism, engineering, design, law, education and health.

As a second major, Disability and Participation will give you a unique interdisciplinary perspective on your primary specialisation. The units of study in Disability and Participation provide students with contemporary, critical thinking that positions you to work in frontline, research and policy positions in government, non-government organisations, academic institutions or research centres.


Ashleigh George
Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) student

"I aim to work in paediatric occupational therapy, and this subjective will help me appeal to both public and private employers as it demonstrates an ability to work with a variety of disabilities and has provided me with a variety of skills and strategies to increase participation and meaningful engagement for people with disability."


Still have questions?

To learn more about the Disability and Particiaption major/minor, please contact:

Dr Kim Bulkeley, Stream Leader
E| kim.bulkeley@sydney.edu.au

21 July 2020