In this class there is something for anyone who has to work with people
It is that time of the year again when you get to start choosing which classes you are going to take for the next semester. Are you set up for a term of all required classes or are there some electives in the mix?
One of the nice things about being university students is how we get some freedom to choose when, and which, classes to take. For those studying topics like Education, Kinesiology and Health Studies, Psychology, or Social Work, a class that I would highly recommend is Introduction to Recreation for Persons with Disabilities, listed as SRS 120 and KIN 120 in the University of Regina course catalogue.
One of the main reasons for my recommendation here is that if you are involved with any of those programs, it is likely that you will get involved with individuals living with a disability in some way or form. Maybe you will be teaching a class, or helping someone gain some structure or assistance, or even just supporting them in their daily life. I think it is crucial for students who are studying these topics in particular as it would enable them to be much more effective in their professions. However, my recommendation extends to people in other programs as well.
Individuals living with a disability are often put into a stereotype-filled category, and not everyone knows how to help individuals with a disability or what it entails. In my opinion, taking a class like this would help minimize ‘othering’ as well as help our society know what is involved in working with individuals living with disabilities.
This three-credit hour class focuses on the diagnosis, characteristics, and paradigms that are involved with individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. This class teaches students how to think critically, and adapt and engage with children who have a disability. As you take the class you are required to exercise what you have learned in real-life applications to help children with their skills so they’re better able to achieve their own success.
I am a fifth-year student finishing my four-year Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and I must say that taking this elective gave me a completely new perspective. Not only did I get to understand and look into the philosophy around disabilities, but I also got to use what I was learning in life experience.
In class we talked about topics such as different levels of a disability, different models or ways of thinking of individuals with disabilities, how to help and adapt with those who have a disability, and so much more. The history and the depth of knowledge in this class are just outstanding and super beneficial. Not only did you get to learn the knowledge, it wasn’t just a theories class, you had to put it to the test.
When I took this class, I had the benefit of putting my knowledge to the test out in the real world in a practicum setting. We had school children who were living with a physical or intellectual disabilities come to us for a physical education class. This gave us the opportunity to help these children by partaking in different activities. It challenged us to critically think and to use the skills in real life. This was done by getting involved with activities one-on-one or in groups, being challenged to break down the tasks into a simple form, or improvising on the spot to make things work with each individual’s needs.
In a world built for able-bodied neurotypical people, it is important to take every chance you get to acknowledge and challenge that fact. This class helps students who might not otherwise take the time to recognize the rigid and potentially harmful structures that our world is built on. By looking at things from a different perspective, of any kind, we as students can help to make the world a better place for everyone.