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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sharan E Brown
LSJ 434
Seattle Campus

Civil and Human Rights Law for Disabled People

Expands knowledge of civil and human rights for disabled people. Examines the American perspective (ADA) as well as various international models including the United Nations' International Human Rights treaties as they relate to disabled people. Recommended: LSJ 230/CHID 230/DIS ST 230. Offered: jointly with CHID 434/DIS ST 434.

Class description

On completion of this course you will, through written, verbal, sign and/or other forms of communication, be able to:

1. Define human rights, civil rights and the complexities inherent in our western legal analysis of these concepts when applied to the rights of disabled individuals.

2. Describe the legal treatment of disabled people in American history including the development of the civil rights movement for people with mental disabilities.

3. Identify and describe the major international human rights instruments and American civil rights laws concerning disabled people.

4. Compare and contrast other models of civil rights laws for disabled people with the American model.

5. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the course materials through successful completion of weekly written assignments, case briefs, case analyses and a group or individual research presentation.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The course content will be presented through lecture, assigned readings, class discussion, and student presentations.

You are expected to actively participate in class discussions and in addition, will be assigned responsibilities with others in small groups for assigned case presentations. You will also be evaluated on weekly written assignments and a group or individual research presentation. If you are uncomfortable talking in a group setting, PLEASE talk with me during the first week of the quarter rather than waiting until your grade has suffered.

There is a final exam consisting of 1 or 2 hypothetical “problems” and selected questions from earlier assignments. The grading is described in some detail below.

Recommended preparation

It is recommended that you have some background in international human rights treaties/documents and have completed LSJ 332A/CHID 332A--Disabliity and Society: Introduction to Disability Studies. However, LSJ 332/CHID 332 is NOT a required prerequisite although the catalog still indicates that to be so.

Class assignments and grading

There are a variety of assignments--some that are written and some that are oral presentations. Students have the option of working as a group or individually on most all the assignments; however, all group assignments include 2 grades--a group grade on the "presentation" and an individual grade on the individual's participation in the presentation (both written and verbal.)

Some of the assignments require that you apply international human rights standards to situations and do "legal analysis" to come to some conclusions about violations of rights norms. If this type of analysis is new to you, you can still be successful in the class as long as you are willing to attempt a new skill.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sharan E Brown
Date: 07/12/2005