Evidence suggests that the lack of inclusion of disability issues in the curricula
of higher education institutions may result in the perpetuation of practices that
discriminate against disabled people in the broader society. In light of this claim, this
article investigates whether and how disability issues are included in the teaching and
research of three faculties at the University of Cape Town (UCT), namely the faculties
of Health Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering and the Built Environment. A survey
of disability inclusion was conducted across the faculties, followed by interviews
with selected participants. The study revealed low levels of disability inclusion, and
that disability is not viewed as an issue of social justice and transformation overall.
However, there are pockets of inclusion, the nature of which differs for each faculty.
In the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, disability is included as an
issue of legislation, space and environment, while the Faculty of Humanities focuses
on the sociocultural and socio-economic impact of disability, and the Faculty of
Health Sciences introduces disability with an emphasis on individual impairment,
environmental effects, community-based rehabilitation and inclusive development,
as well as the prevention and management of disability. We propose the creation of
an institutional system that will build the capacity of lecturers to include disability
in teaching and research across faculties, in line with UCT’s transformation agenda.