Human Rights and Disabilities: For Teachers

Year Level: Upper Primary/Lower Secondary

KLA: Studies of Society and Environment

Duration: 8-10 Lessons

Lesson’s overall aim:

Investigate how aspects of 'human rights' apply to the lives of people with a disability in Australia. Consider in detail how the question of access applies to this issue. Become more familiar with laws, community awareness and actions connected with disabled access. Look at the progress already made in respecting basic human rights for disabled citizens and contribute ideas for continuing this progress locally.

Curriculum Links

Links to the Australian Curriculum

Learning Outcomes - Secondary


  • Access to the internet and PowerPoint
  • Printouts of information sheets and graphic organisers
  • Digital camera or video recorder  

Teacher Notes

A number of sites are listed in the resources section for teachers’ use to familiarise them with this complex topic. Some aspects of living with a disability can be contentious and students may need initial reminders to respect different points of view. Many people with a 'disability', for example, would include in their human rights the right to be accepted as they are. They do not necessarily feel that their lives are in some way broken or inferior and in need of 'fixing', however well meaning other people might be.

Ideas are also provided for graphic organisers, some of which will need printing off, and some which would be better as large displays on classroom walls. It is recommended that teachers study the unit carefully before students start work on it, and prepare display areas or printouts if required. It is also advisable for teachers to check whether their computer systems can access the suggested websites and activities. They also need to be aware that many sites about human rights contain information or links that are not appropriate for primary students.

Teacher resources


Teachers will be able to use student worksheets, self-evaluations and presentations to assess individual understanding.

For example, do students show evidence of:

  • familiarity with basic human rights, and the rights of disabled people
  • awareness, and sensitivity to, disabled people in their community
  • understanding disabled access issues
  • knowledge of laws concerning discrimination?

Are students able to:

  • collect information
  • analyse its significance, and
  • present it in a coherent form for an audience?

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