Paper calendar with yellow pencil laying on top of it. Link to course schedule

View courses by topic or week

Large group shot of people who participated in the courses in 2019 looking up into the camera. link to registration information

View pricing and deadlines

Link to Frequently Asked Questions page

Get all your questions answered

Large group of people sitting on steps in front of building posing for a photo. Several people are using wheelchairs. Global Considerations of Disability for Rehabilitation Providers


This course will not be offered in 2024.



This course will help rehabilitation providers engage with disability in a complex and globalizing world. Through interactive and community-building activities, participants will expand their understandings of disability and the contributions that rehabilitation providers can make to improve the situation of persons with disabilities worldwide.


Logo of Manipal Academy of Higher Learning       Disability rights watch logo  circular logo for ASSA


Shaun Cleaver, PhD
Faculty Lecturer, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Sidhiprada Mohapatra, MPT
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiotherapy, Manipal College of Health Professions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education


  • Ajay Bailey – Utrecht University (Equimob project)
  • Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry – McGill University
  • Marie-Lyne Grenier – McGill University
  • Matthew Hunt – McGill University
  • Atul Jaiswal – Universite de Montreal
  • Erin Keough – McGill University
  • Raphael Lencucha - McGill University
  • Kevin McDonough – McGill University
  • Pradeepa Nayak – Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • Sumita Rege – Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • Shovan Saha – Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • Hiba Zafran – McGill University

Faculty are still being confirmed and there may be changes to the above list.


Rehabilitation providers—from rehabilitation professions to individuals supporting community-based programs—are united by the drive for enhanced function, better health, and improved quality of life. With rehabilitation’s focus on function, its activities are often targeted towards those who have the greatest problems functioning: “the disabled,” or alternatively, “persons with disabilities.” The numbers of persons with disabilities worldwide are large and growing, with over one billion people currently estimated to live with some form of disability (World Health Organization). Given that populations internationally are aging, that more people are living with chronic conditions, and that notions of disability are becoming more comprehensive and better known, it is foreseeable that the estimated number of persons with disabilities will continue to grow.

Demographic prominence alone has unfortunately not transformed the experience of living with a disability: persons with disabilities continue to face frequent societal exclusion because of barriers to participation in education, employment, healthcare, and social activities. Rehabilitation providers worldwide face paradoxical positions relative to disability: whereas rehabilitation can offer essential support and care to persons with disabilities, rehabilitation can also perpetuate ableism, the oppression of persons with disabilities. Examples of ableism perpetuated by rehabilitation include the reinforcement of discourses of normality and the concentration of power and resources into institutions and professional activities at the expense of initiatives led by the disabled.

Given the complexities of rehabilitation in globalizing contexts, this summer institute course aims to equip rehabilitation providers to engage proactively with disability. Course content will expand the perspectives of rehabilitation providers with respect to understanding disability as a societal and human rights concern. Course delivery will include interactive and community-building activities to encourage collective learning and independent development.


By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain key concepts from disability studies and discuss their application to rehabilitation practice.
  • Describe the nuances of disability as seen through the lenses of human rights, diversity, and intersectionality.
  • Define ableism and identify ways in which ableism can be reproduced through rehabilitation.
  • Discuss the construction of disability and examine how diverse cultural and environmental contexts will influence experiences of disability.


The targeted audience for the summer school will include rehabilitation professionals from the disciplines of:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Nursing
  • Clinical or Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Social work
  • Individuals involved in disability advocacy
  • Certified recreation therapists
  • Students interested in broadening their views and knowledge in disability studies.


Maximum 50 participants.

Back to top