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[afro-nets] Disability & Development course at VU University

Disability and Development Module I

We are pleased announce to next Disability and Development Module I, to be 
conducted at the VU University Amsterdam, from 29 November to 23 December, 
2010. Please find the necessary course information below, including the 
learning objectives, course content and costs.

Coordinator Wim H. van Brakel MD MSc PhD

Lecturers Wim H. van Brakel MD MSc PhD; Huib Cornielje Dip Phys MPH MSc; 
Jacqueline Kool, MA; Marlies van der Kroft, BA MA; Lydia la Rivière-Zijdel, MA

Credits 6

Learning objectives

* � To develop an understanding of disability and the issues faced by people 
with disabilities
* � To develop knowledge and skills for disability research, policy development 
and management related to disability, rehabilitation and development
* � To acquire insight into the epidemiology of disability, with separate 
attention for important determinants like gender, poverty and HIV/AIDS
* � To learn how to use relevant models of disability and the conceptual 
framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and 
Health (ICF)
* � To understand the importance of human rights in relation to disability and 
to learn to use the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 
for advocacy and other rights-based interventions
* � To acquire skills and knowledge in measurement and research methods 
relevant to disability
* � To understand the importance of inter-sectoral collaboration
* � To gain insight in participatory approaches


The Disability and Development (D&D) course focuses on a broad range of issues 
related to disability and rehabilitation in the context of development. This 
means that the focus is on people with disabilities in low and middle-income 
countries. Disability affects an estimated 600 million people worldwide, the 
majority of whom live in low and middle-income countries. The large majority 
are poor and have no access to rehabilitation services; neither are facilities 
in place to allow them to be included in the mainstream of society. To date, 
very few services and programmes are available to address these needs. The 
realisation that the Millennium Development Goals cannot be met without 
addressing the needs of people with disability has brought a new impetus to the 
field concerned with these issues, disability and development. Another major 
recent development was the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of 
Persons with Disabilities in December 2006. It is expected that there will be a 
substantial increase in demand for training of a large variety of professionals 
(e.g. researchers, managers, architects, lawyers, health professionals) with 
formal training and qualifications in the field of disability and development. 
This rapidly increasing interest in disability as a development and human 
rights issue means that this emerging field of study will rapidly gain in 
importance and should become part of any serious higher education in social and 
2 development studies and in international public health. The course will cover 
essential knowledge and skills in this subject.

The 4-week course will include the following subjects:
* � Disability models and stereotypes,
* � Frequencies and distribution of disability,
* � Experience of having a disability,
* � ICF conceptual framework,
* � Rights of persons with disabilities, including the UN Convention on the 
Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
* � Culture and disability,
* � Determinants of disability, including stigma and discrimination, poverty, 
gender and HIV/AIDS,
* � Measurement of disability,
* � Disability-relevant research methods, including survey methods, examples of 
disability research, and 
* � An introduction to community-based rehabilitation.

Form of tuition Lectures with practical exercises, tutorial groups with 
problem-based learning, self study, experiential learning and group assignments

Literature An online reader will be available on blackboard (the course virtual 
learning medium)

Mode of assessment Assessment is based on individual assignments, tutorial 
group work and an individual written examination.

Target audience Optional course for Master students Management, Policy Analysis 
and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences (MPA) and International Public 
Health; external students from low and middle-income countries are strongly 
encouraged to apply.

Venue Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam

Period 29.11-23.12.2010

Course fees

The tentative course fees for 2010 are €1,800 for 4 weeks, including the course 
exam (accredited for 6 ECTS). These fees do NOT include board and lodging in 

For information contact:

Huib Cornielje 


Wim van Brakel
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