Self-study module: Being Human

This self-study module provides a mix of book chapters, digital talks and lectures, scientific papers, and a movie on the general theme of Being Human.

The module consists of 10 references of which you are to select the 5 you find most relevant and study the references at your own pace during Ideation (before 1 May 2023).

You are encouraged to expand your investigations beyond the module, and to seek advice and inspiration from the peers and experts you meet during Ideation.

Beginnings: Conceptualising disability in a global world

Reference: Goodley, Dan (2016) Beginnings: Conceptualising disability in a global world. In: Disability studies: An interdisciplinary introduction. Sage Publications. Chapter 1.

Format: Text, ebook

Keywords: Disability Studies, Politics, Disabled People’s Movement, Perspectives on disability 

Work load: 26 pages

Description: This book chapter examines a varied range of theories and perspectives on disability and engages with present discussions in the field of Disability Studies. Goodley’s text encourages readers using thought-provoking questions, exercises, and activities for students and researchers across disciplines.

Link: Individual links to the e-book have been sent via email.

Understanding Disability

Reference: Shakespeare, Thomas (2018) Understanding Disability. In: Disability: the basics. Routledge. Chapter 1.

Format: Text

Keywords: Understanding Disability, Disability Across Time and Place, Lived Experiences

Work load: 24 pages

Description: Disability: the basics is an introduction to disability as a multi-dimensional concept and explores the historical, social, environmental, economic, and legal factors which affect experiences of people living with impairments in modern-day society. It offers an understanding of the lived experiences of disabled people and underline continuing gaps and barriers in social responses to the challenge of disability.


Understanding Disability in Disability: the basics

Disability as a human condition discussed in a theological perspective

Reference: Lid, Inger Marie (2012) Disability as a human condition discussed in a theological perspective. Diaconia. Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice. Vol. 3.

Format: Text

Keywords: Understanding Disability, Disability Across Time and Place, Lived Experiences, Law, Politics

Work load: 14 pages

Description: This article discusses the understanding of disability in a notion of human diversity that includes disability as a human condition. From a disability studies perspective, a medical understanding of disability has been criticised for the absence of disabling structures in society. Lid argues that inclusive concepts of humanity must guide law and politics.


Nothing About Us Without Us

Reference: Charlton, James (2000) Nothing About Us Without Us. In: Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Chapter 1, pp. 3-18.

Format: Text

Keywords: Disability Rights Movement, Disability oppression, Lived experience, Organization of Empowerment, History

Work load: 15 pages

Description: This book chapter is the introduction to the landmark book on disability Nothing About Us Without Us, written by disability rights activist James Charlton. The book chapter touches briefly on topics about the disability rights movement, disability oppression, lived experiences, and disability as a social construction. Overall, the book provides a theoretical overview of disability oppression that shows its similarities to, and differences from, racism, sexism, and colonialism.

Access: Can be retrieved from your educational library.

Nothing About Us Without Us

Nobody is average

Reference: Rose, Todd (2021) Nobody is average. Here’s why. FacebookFirstReads

Format: Text

Keywords: Critique, Average, One-dimensional metrics, The science of the individual

Work load: 5 pages

Description: This text is an excerpt from the book The End of Average – How We Succeed in a World the Values Sameness written by Todd Rose. The text briefly showcases Rose’s argument of how there is no such thing as an average body or level of intelligence. These notions are a figment of a misguided scientific imagination.


Nobody is average

Architects’ conceptions of the human body

Reference: Imre, Robert (2003) Architects’ conceptions of the human body. Environment and Planning D Society and Space 21(1):47-65.

Format: Text

Keywords: Architecture, Human body, Cartesian conceptions, Vitruvian body, Physiological diversity

Work load: 19 pages

Description: In this article, Robert Imre argues how most influential architectural theories and practices fail to recognise bodily and physiological diversity. He stresses a tendency among architects to design to specific technical standards and dimensions which revolve around a Cartesian conception of the ‘normal’ body.


The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty

Reference: Rose, Todd (2013) The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty.

Format: Video

Keywords: One-dimensional metrics, Jagged size profile, Learning environments, Technology, Talent

Work load: 18 minutes

Description: In this TED Talk, Todd Rose argues that if you design for the average sized person you design for nobody. According to Rose we all have “a jagged size profile” meaning that our body dimensions such as height, weight and waist are not the same on every dimension. Ultimately, Rose argues how we ought to ban the average and generate designs that accommodate for the edges of dimensions.


Play Video

Models of disability: A short introduction

Reference: Falster, Emil (2022) Models of disability: A short introduction. Lunch Bag Lecture. Universal Design Hub – Bevica Fonden.

Format: Video

Keywords: Theory, Models of disability, Impairment effects, Barriers and Solutions

Work load: 7 minutes

Description: In this video, Emil Falster discusses three different models of disability: the medical model, the social model, and the relational model. He argues how our understanding of terms such as disability and impairment effects how we understand the barriers and challenges that people with impairments face every day – and how these understandings, ultimately, generate the solutions we ideate to create equal opportunities for participation.


Play Video

Models of disability (with a side order of The Life of Brian)

Reference: Shakespeare, Tom (2022) Models of disability (with a side order of The Life of Brian). Better Together 2022 Conference.

Format: Video

Keywords: Models of disability, Disability, Impairment, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

Work load: 35 minutes

Description: This video introduces the history and conceptualisation of three different models of disability: the medical model, the social model, and a laminated model (integrating the two). Tom Shakespeare ultimately argues that disability is an interaction working on different levels (the biological, psychological, environmental, and social level) in different contexts of society and everyday life.


Play Video

Crip Camp

Reference: Crip Camp (2020) Higher Ground Productions.

Format: Video

Keywords: Discrimination, Disability Rights Movement, Activism, Empowerment, History

Work load: 1 hour 46 minutes

Description: In the early 1970s, teenagers with disabilities faced a future shaped by isolation, discrimination, and institutionalization. This movie tells the story about one group of disabled young people and their journey to activism and adulthood, and in doing so, provides an opportunity for all to delve into the rich and complicated history of disability activism, culture, and history.


Play Video about Crip Camp