This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Important Note: Spots are limited. An application is required, which you will receive by email. The Umbra Institute will not be able to guarantee enrollment to all that apply.
This course has two main academic components: one experiential (practicum) and one reflective (seminar). The practicum provides you with direct experience in an inclusive professional setting for 3 hours per week. The seminar meets every week for 1.5 hours to explore disciplinary theory through readings, discussions, and personal reflection.
In the seminar, you will examine theories and models on critical disability studies from an international and cross-cultural perspective. Through discussion of readings, sharing of experiences, group work, and focused assignments (e.g., guided journals), you will increase their understanding on how culture influences our perspectives and behaviors towards disability, as well as reflect on the several approaches underlining the integration and inclusion of people with disabilities into society.
You will complete your practicum with VIVA Sports Association, the first athletic program for kids and adults with motor and/or intellectual disabilities in Perugia. You will assist the staff in managing the athletic activities, helping individuals with a variety of disabilities play sports such as fencing, ping pong, and basketball to develop social and motor skills. In addition, you will collaborate with the professional staff in designing new activities focused on music, theater, work, and other themes relevant to integrating those with disabilities into society. To get a closer look into VIVA, view this video. At the end of the semester, you will present your practicum experience to the Umbra community.
Important Note: The Critical Disabilities practicum will be on Wednesday afternoons. For this reason, you will not be able to enroll in other courses that will conflict with these afternoon meetings. You will receive an individual email regarding their course schedule in order to work out any necessary changes.
In this course, you will:
- gain a heightened sense of intercultural awareness;
- improve critical thinking and communication skills;
- connect with an organization that strives to move beyond “compassion” and “medical help” in order to integrate people with disabilities into society;
- empower people with disabilities to be independent and self-supported;
- develop a theoretical framework to analyze and reflect on the practicum experience; and
- increase understanding on how culture influences perspectives and behaviors towards disability.
Selected readings will be provided in class