Summer 2024 - EDUC 710 G002

Special Topics

Class Number: 3478

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Tue, 4:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Dr. Inna Stepaniuk
    Pronoun: she/her/hers. Name pronounce: Een-na.
    Office Hours: by appointment (to schedule an in-person, phone or online appointment, please send an email to



Variable units: 3, 4, 5.


The Special Topic course, titled "DISABILITY JUSTICE AND SOCIETY", is concerned with the ways in which social systems, institutions, and professions respond to human differences, focusing specifically on dis/ability and its intersection with other identity markers and social locations (such as race, gender, class, age, language, immigration status, etc.). The normative stance of the course is critical and emancipatory, aiming to expose injustices embedded in various systems and relationships, including but not limited to education.

The course adopts a critical disability studies lens grounded in interdisciplinary, intersectional approaches to understanding dis/ability and disability justice. Disability justice, as a social movement, builds upon the disability rights movement and is often used interchangeably with terms like "disability rights" and "disability inclusion". However, what distinguishes the disability justice movement and makes it urgent, considering past histories and recent global events, is its central focus on intersectionality. It acknowledges the experiences of individuals "who lived at intersecting junctures of oppression – disabled people of color, immigrants with disabilities, queers with disabilities, trans and gender non-conforming people with disabilities, people with disabilities who are houseless, people with disabilities who are incarcerated, people with disabilities who have had their ancestral lands stolen, amongst others" (Disability and Philanthropy Forum, n.d.).


The course aims to enhance the curriculum and learning experience for students who have shown interest in exploring the relationships between dis/ability, access, and commitments to justice and equity in education, with a focus on how these relationships playout within formal and informal educational settings.

Course Learning Goals:

  • understand the commitments of civic professionals to inclusivity and equity.
  • situate dis/ability within historical, social, political, and legal contexts.
  • explicate and justify radical models of dis/ability to expose injustices within and across systems.
  • understand how disability intersects with race, gender, class, age, language, and other identity markers, social locations, and experiences.
  • develop an intersectional understanding of disability justice.
  • apply critical disability studies frameworks to analyze practices to promote equitable outcomes for multiply marginalized individuals with dis/abilities.
  • utilize advocacy models to challenge the ways(s) in which dis/ability is constructed in society.

*Please find the Course Format description below to learn how the course is organized.


  • Individual Reading Reviews 25%
  • Team Reading Reviews 25%
  • Co-led In-class Discussion 25%
  • Participation in “hands on” in-class activities / contribution to in-class discussion 25%


Course Format

Course content and learning activities will be organized into 4 modules of instruction. Each module extends over a 3-week period (i.e., a three-session module). There is no in-class session the first week of each module, giving students 2 weeks from the last class session of the prior module to the second session of the next three-session module to complete module assignments (i.e., reading reviews).

The course conceptual framework and its modules reflect the Ten Principles of Disability Justice [1] (Sinc Invalid, 2015). Students will have the opportunity to engage in critical, collective thinking by working on individual and group assignments and participating in “hands-on” in-class activities (e.g.,., accessibility audit, critical disability studies analysis of practice). Guest speakers/disability activists will be joining the course to share their lived experience. 

[1] The text embeds a hyperlink with the following web address:


The course is designed for but is not limited to students in the Equity Studies in Education, Educational Psychology, Educational Theory and Practice graduate programs.



Students will be asked to engage with a range of text (articles, book chapters, policies), audio (podcast, songs), and video (news, documentaries, performance) materials. The course materials will be provided online, via Canvas and SFU library.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.