Sean Fisher, 21, is the face of the ABLE XSeries.
Sean Fisher, 21, is the face of the ABLE XSeries.
21 March 2016

More than 100 international experts have contributed to a world-first online course designed to improve healthcare for people with intellectual disability.

 

The ABLE XSeries, developed by a team of online learning specialists from The University of Queensland’s UQx and The Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (QCIDD), will launch on World Down Syndrome Day, Monday 21 March.

 

The series of three free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) courses are designed to help those in the healthcare industry understand best practice for people with intellectual disability.

 

Experts from 17 countries contributed to the course, which explores the complexities of health issues for people with intellectual disability, and the impact for their families, disability organisations and health professionals.

 

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health Professor Dainius Puras said the course is essential to understanding and improving the status of intellectual disability healthcare worldwide.

 

“The right to health is a fundamental part of our human rights and of our understanding of a life in dignity,” he said.

 

“The barriers of attitudes and systems experienced by people with disabilities in seeking healthcare are remarkably greater than for people without disabilities.

 

“I heartily endorse the ABLE X courses, the aims of which are both simple and weighty - that is: to improve the physical and mental health of people with intellectual disability by empowering them, their families, their supporters and their health professionals.”

 

Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Director, Professor Nick Lennox, said education to address best healthcare practice for people with intellectual disability had been largely missing from the healthcare community.

 

“The health inequities experienced by people with disabilities around the world are profound,” he said.

 

“People with intellectual disability die up to 20 years earlier than the general population.

 

“This series of courses will go some way to improving this picture of persistent and pervasive neglect of people with intellectual disability.

 

“The ABLE XSeries draws on the wisdom of people with intellectual disability, their families and supporters, clinicians and other global experts to empower and educate a wider community in best practice in the field, which until now has not been readily available.

 

“The depth and breadth of the course provides new knowledge on interpersonal communication, physical health needs, health promotion, mental health and legal and ethical complexities, to name a few.”

 

UQx Director John Zornig said the UQx team was honoured to participate in creating the series.

 

“The ABLE XSeries is not only the first XSeries developed by UQx for edX, but the first edX course ever to address intellectual disability,” he said.

 

“We are confident the course will contribute to renewed and improved healthcare delivery for people with intellectual disability around the world.”

 

For more information or to register visit https://www.edx.org/xseries/intellectual-disability-healthcare.

 

Media: Zarese Kisielewski, z.kisielewski@uq.edu.au, 07 3365 6211.