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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Understanding Intellectual Disability 1
Module Code NS131
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sinead Foran
Semester 2: Sinead Foran
Autumn: Sinead Foran
Module TeachersMichael McKeon
Orla O'Reilly
Sinead Foran
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
Following feedback, the student will resubmit the portfolio as evidence of achievement of module learning outcomes.

This module introduces foundational concepts associated with intellectual disability, along with their relationship to intellectual disability nursing. Issues associated with meanings of person centredness, community inclusion, active citizenship and a quality service are introduced.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explore the concept, nature and history of intellectual disability and their relationship to intellectual disability nursing, including person centeredness, community inclusion, active citizenship and a quality service.
2. Describe the incidence and prevalence of intellectual disability and pre, peri and post natal causative factors. This includes exploring more common conditions encountered, as well as identifying aspects of comorbidity and health challenges associated with certain conditions.
3. Discuss the particular challenges associated with 'being with' an individual with an intellectual disability. Explore ways of adapting communication in order to 'be with' and respond effectively to an individual with differing needs.
4. Examine the role and expectations of intellectual disability nursing. Explore its values base in supporting individuals with intellectual disability and their families and with a multidisciplinary team across the lifespan in a variety of settings.
5. Explore expectations of becoming an effective intellectual disability student nurse at DCU. Explore also the resources available to the student nurse and of expectations associated with scholarship over the course of this academic and professional award.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Classes, group activities,
Assignment Completion10Portfolio and MCQ preperation, directed and non directed learning.
Group work5Students are encouraged to complete group work and activities together
Independent Study90Self-directed work, on- line searching and learning library work, examination of sources of evidence.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The concept and nature of intellectual disability nationally and internationally
Policy and legislation national and international.How services have evolved, History of intellectual disability nursing, Contemporary models of care services and supports for individuals, families and individuals with intellectual disability of all ages. Definition, history and degrees of intellectual disability, database information, Incidence and prevalence, demographics associated with intellectual disability.

Causes and manifestations of intellectual disability
Genetics, causes and management of the main clinical conditions in intellectual disability; paying attention to families and to children, adults and older people, antenatal screening, diagnosing intellectual disability, related co-morbidities,intellectual disability and additional needs, the impact on health, care and social skills to include e.g. epilepsy, behaviour that challenges services, dementia and other mental health needs.

Values to practice intellectual disability nursing
Dignity, Autonomy, Vulnerability, Potential and Strengths Advocacy. Equality of opportunity and quality of life for individuals with intellectual disability

The concept of "being with" and communicating with an individual with an intellectual disability.
Adapting communication for individuals of all ages with different needs and requirements. Communication; to include augmentative and alternative communication.Working with service users/ clients/individuals with intellectual disability and families, carers. co-workers.Self-awareness, self-reflection, personal and professional development

Nursing work, nurse led services and therapeutic interventions with individuals with intellectual disability
Understanding intellectual disability nursing work, the scope of practice. introduction to the notion of risk assessment positive risk taking,skills for nursing assessment including communication and multi and inter - professional team working understanding intellectual disability student nursing across the RNID programme.

Sources of information for intellectual disability.
HSE, DOHC website, MENCAP, FEDVOL, DSI , Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, Journal and other resources commonly used. scholarship in intellectual disability nursing practice

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PortfolioThe student will complete a portfolio with a number of components directly linked to demonstrating evidence of achievement of the module learning outcomes.100%Once per semester
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Atherton. H, Crickmore, D.: 2011, Learning disabilities : toward inclusion, Churchill livingstone, Edinburgh, 9780702042850
  • Nirbhay N. Singh: 2016, Handbook of Evidence-Based Practices in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,
  • Gates, and Mafuba: 2014, Learning Disability Nursing: Modern Day Practice, CRC Press, UK,
  • Gates and Barr: 2009, Oxford Handbook of Learning and intellectual disability nursing,, University Press, Oxford,
Other Resources

53465, website, www.HSE.ie, 0, website, 53466, website, http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/, 0, website, 53467, website, http://www.downsyndrome.ie/, 0, website, 53468, website, http://www.fedvol.ie/, 0, website, 53469, website, http://www.mencap.org.uk, 0, website, 53470, website, www.mencap.org.uk, 0, website, 53471, website, www.bild.org.uk, 0, website, 53472, website, vwww.demon.co.uk//via, 0, website, 53473, website, http://www.aaidd.org/, 0, website,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BNIDBSc in Nursing (Intellectual Disability)
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Date of Last Revision26-JAN-12

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