Disability Support Worker

  • Program Title: Disability Support Worker
    Delivery: Online
    Credential: Diploma
    Program Length: 3 Semesters (One year)
    Program Availability: Full time or Part time
    Offered: This program is available starting every Monday.

    Program Description


    If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, consider NETC’s Disability Support Worker Program. This 3-Semester program of study you will be provided with the knowledge and skills required to support people with developmental disabilities to live in dignity, participate and share in all aspects of life. Students will learn strategies for providing support in ways that are respectful of the dignity and individuality of each person with whom they work.

    Police Records Check Documentation: Successful completion of field placement is a requirement for graduation from the Developmental Services Worker program. Agencies that provide placement opportunities may require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS and as a result are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate.

    Field Placement Eligibility: To be eligible for placement, one requirement is that you must submit proof of a PRCSVS, which will be retained on your departmental file and used only for purposes related to your placement. You will be required to disclose the contents of the PRCSVS, including all notations, to the placement agencies.

    Students have a total of fifty-two (52) weeks to complete their program requirements, starting from the date of their first course.

    Learning Outcomes


    1. Conduct oneself in an ethical, competent and accountable manner in all professional relationships.
    2. Provide person-directed supports and services that respect and promote self-determination for people with developmental disabilities
    3. Provide for the safety of people with developmental disabilities, self and others in compliance with all applicable legislation, regulations and standards of practice.
    4. Support health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities.
    5. Employ and adapt formal and informal strategies to support the learning of people with developmental disabilities.
    6. Provide leadership in the development of inclusive communities.
    7. Develop professional and personal plans that enhance job performance and well-being.

    Your Career


    Graduates may find employment in a variety of roles, such as educational assistant, developmental assistant, special needs worker, residential counsellor, employment specialist, lifeskills instructor, vocational instructor, family support worker and support network facilitator. Work settings include elementary and secondary schools, private homes, recreation programs, community residences, adult lifeskills programs, and local businesses, agencies and associations.

  • Admission Requirements


    College Eligibility

    • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent; OR
    • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate; OR
    • General Educational Development (GED); OR
    • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program).

    Call the Admissions Office at 1 (800) 267-2577 for more details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

    Application Process
    Program intake – Apply to this program by visiting our Registration page. If you are entering into this program as a mature student please attach your resume when submitting your registration information online.

  • Courses


    2015/2016 Academic Year

    Semester 1
    Study Skills Strategies
    Implications of Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities
    Detection and Treatment for Neuromotor Impairments
    Supporting Individuals with Orthopedic, Musculoskeletal, and Sensory Disorders
    Understanding Degenerative and Terminal Illnesses
    Treatments for Major Health Impairments
    Infectious Diseases

    Semester 2
    Role of the Support Worker
    Interpersonal Skills
    Safety
    Assisting Persons with Mobility
    Abuse
    Household Management and Meal Preparation
    Providing Optimal Support/Care Planning
    Assisting a Person with Personal Hygiene

    Semester 3
    Assisting the Family
    Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health Issues
    Assisting a Person to Manage Ongoing Conditions
    Assisting a Person with Medication
    Assisting the Person Who is Dying
    Essentials in Hospice & Palliative Care
    Field Placement: Practicum in Nursing or Long Term Care Facility

    Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of information provided on our website. The College reserves the right to modify any course, program, curriculum, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.

    Register for this course.

  • Course Descriptions


    Semester 1
    Study Skills Strategies
    This course will enable students to assess their current study skills and plan for improvement. Students will practice time-management techniques for successful studying. Students will learn to develop powerful reading skills and practice memory techniques to enhance ability to learn and improve test performance. This course will also help students to develop specific study skills for mathematics and related subjects and implement an action plan to improve them.

    CPR and First Aid (adult, child and infant)
    This online CPR (adult, child, and infant) and First aid certification is for the healthcare provider. If you are currently certified with Red Cross, AHA, National Safety Council, ASHI or Medic First Aid, you are welcome to utilize the course and receive a new, two-year FirstAid Advanced certificate.

    Implications of Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities
    This course explores the behavioral characteristics of persons with physical, intellectual, or multiple disabilities. Students will learn the functional effects of the disability and how they impact learning and performance. Students will also examine psychosocial and environmental factors affecting behavior and performance across the lifespan. Students will also study theories of motor development, joint, structure, muscle tone, reflexes and reactions, atypical motor development, impact of atypical tone and reflexes on functioning, impact of sensory loss on motor ability, lifting and positioning considerations and educational implications.

    Detection and Treatment for Neuromotor Impairments
    This course will explore the basics of neuromotor impairments. Students will examine neuromotor disorders and learn how to develop a treatment plan to improve the functional skills of the clients they treat. Topics cerebral palsy, spinal cord disorders: spinal cord injury and spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, and assistive technology considerations.

    Supporting Individuals with Orthopedic, Musculoskeletal, and Sensory Disorders
    Students will learn to supporting individuals with orthopedic, musculoskeletal, and sensory disorders. This course introduces effective detection methods and treatments for neuromuscular scoliosis and hip displacement, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, arthrogryposis, osteogenesis imperfecta, vision loss, hearing loss, and deaf- blindness. This course also examines classroom adaptations for students with physical, health, and multiple disabilities

    Understanding Degenerative and Terminal Illnesses
    Students will learn to identify the characteristics of degenerative and terminal illnesses and provide effective treatment for such implications. Students will examine strategies for supporting clients with degenerative and terminal illnesses. This course examines providing emotional support to clients with degenerative and terminal illnesses. Palliative and end-of-life care will also be discussed.

    Treatments for Major Health Impairments
    This course identifies major health impairments and examines the characteristics and treatments of each. Students will be introduced to the following topics: seizures and epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes. Students will learn to monitor and treat acute episodes and complications, medication effects or equipment malfunctions, degenerative changes, fatigue or exercise intolerance, complications of healthcare procedures. Students will also learn to prepare clients with individualized healthcare plans and action plans.

    Infectious Diseases
    This course provides a broad understanding of infectious diseases. Students will develop strategies for the control and treatment of infectious diseases, acquiring new knowledge and updating your current expertise. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of biology of infective agents and hosts on the outcome of infection.

    Semester 2
    Role of the Support Worker (18 hours)
    In this course students will be introduced to the role and scope of practice of workers providing support to consumers / clients and families in individual homes and long term care facilities. The variety of settings, work relationships, levels of supervision, the need to adapt to variety settings as well as, time and stress management will be covered. Legislation related to the worker, the work setting and consumer / client rights will be discussed. Finally the student must recognize that they cannot be all things to all people and the consumer / client must not be exposed to unsafe practice. This course clearly outlines the scope of the personal support worker including consequences for exceeding that scope. Participants will be introduced to the regulated Health Professions Act. The steps to taken when the worker has concerns in these areas will be discussed.

    Interpersonal Skills (22 hours)
    This course introduces students to the more importance of communication and interpersonal skills essential to establishing and maintaining effective relationships with consumers/clients. The components of messages, the ways in which they are given, and factors affecting communications are discussed. Problem solving and conflict resolution skills will be presented. Participants will be provided with opportunity to practice these skills. Use of written materials, including documentation, will be covered.

    Safety (9 hours)
    This course deals with aspects of safety as they relate to both the client and the worker. One of the fundamentals activities of the PSW is assisting the client with routine activities of living. It is essential that the PSW provide assistance in a manner, which is effective, safe and provides for the client’s comfort. As part of this, the PSW must be aware of potential risks posed by unsafe equipment or setting and the appropriate actions to take if unsafe situations are identified. Infection control methods will be taught as infections can cause distress for both the client and the worker.

    Assisting Persons with Mobility (18 hours)
    The PSW practices good body mechanics in many aspects of the work he/ she performs to ensure safety and comfort for her/himself and the client. It is recognized that workers in this field are at risk for developing back injuries from improper use of body mechanics. Consistency in transferring, lifting techniques and the use of equipment increases safety and reduces client anxiety, confusion and dependency. This course also discusses promoting proper positioning in a bed or chair for the comfort and safety of the client. PWS’s have the appropriate knowledge, skill and attitude to assist the client with routine activities of living. They recognize the importance of providing assistance, which supports the client’s sense of self-determination and well-being in such that the client feels well served by their actions.

    Abuse (9 hours)
    This course introduces students to the concepts of family violence and abuse, including its possible signs, as well as appropriate actions to be taken including legal requirements if abuse is suspected. Personal beliefs and attitudes about family violence and abuse are examined, as is the concept of worker abuse of the client. Finally, abuse of the worker is discussed. Personal Support Workers identify the concepts of abuse and are able to recognize both causes and indicators. They are able to identify the requirements of legislation and respond in accordance with legislation, employer policy and provisions of the service contract or support plan. They recognize That PSW’s and Home Makers may also be the focus of abuse.

    Household Management and Meal Preparation (18 hours)
    In this course students will learn to assist the clients with their nutritional needs, household activities and household management according to client preferences, comfort and safety, with employer guidelines as required. Nutritional needs include planning nutritious menus, preparing shopping lists, shopping, and safe handling of food, storage and specific cooking techniques. Special dietary needs of infants, pregnant and nursing mothers, persons with specific cultural and religious preferences will be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate skills in a lab environment.

    Providing Optimal Support/Care Planning (28 hours)
    This course builds on the materials presented in the introductory course “Interpersonal Skills”. It identifies the support to be provided and the significance of the support and of the need for the support to the client. Supporting the client to relearn/regain routine abilities and issues of the rights of the client as receiver of support will be presented.

    Assisting a Person with Personal Hygiene (18 hours)
    The PSW is required to have knowledge, skills and sensitivity to provide appropriate assistance to another person, since a significant number of clients for whom the PSW provides service, have disabilities that affect their ability to look after their personal hygiene. Sufficient knowledge about structure, function, aging changes and common conditions of the skin is covered in this course to enable the PSW to understand why specific personal hygiene methods are recommended. The necessity of a positive attitude and sound interpersonal skills when working with clients experiencing a disability is discussed. The importance of supporting the clients control over their own personal hygiene to the extent possible / desired is also covered, as is the need to respect the client’s rights to make choices as to how they wish assistance to be given. Throughout the course, sensitivity and respect for the client’s dignity and privacy while providing assistance is stressed.

    Semester 3
    Assisting the Family (18 hours)
    This course assists students to understand the characteristics of today’s families in terms of structure, functions, roles, lifestyles and relationships. An understanding of the influence of cultural values, practices, religious beliefs as well as the effects of illness stress disability on family relationships will be emphasized as central to the PSW’S ability to provide effective support.

    Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health Issues (35 hours)
    This course will introduce the student to common psychiatric conditions (effective disorders and schizophrenia), substance abuse and cognitive impairment. The possibility of multiple conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression will be discussed. The role of the family caregiver will be reviewed.

    Assisting a Person to Manage Ongoing Conditions (33 hours)
    This course introduces the student to basic concepts of assistance as well as the general effects on the person of common disabilities, ongoing conditions and diseases. Focusing on the importance of providing support safely, effectively and comfortable, the student has the opportunity to gain skill in necessary techniques. Concepts of maintenance, rehabilitation and restoration are discussed, as is the importance of the support team in providing assistance. Activities which require additional training, who is responsible for providing the training and transferability of these additional skills will be discussed.

    Assisting a Person with Medication (12 hours)
    Students will identify: purpose of medication, required instruction/information about medications to be administered, and cautions with regard to medications. Students will develop and demonstrate skill in reading and interpreting information on prescriptions containers, and demonstrate assistance with oral/topical medications as well as eye, ear and nose drops. The importance of observations for both desired and undesired outcomes will be described. Finally, procedures to be followed in the event of concern about or problems with medications will be discussed.

    Assisting the Person Who is Dying (22 hours)
    This course allows students to discuss the concept of dying as part of life and the possible impact of life-threatening illness on the person and their family. They will also have the opportunity to examine personal beliefs about life-threatening illness, dying and the provision of support to the dying person, her/his family and friends. Assisting the dying person to maintain a desired lifestyle and respecting her/his right to make decisions with regard to support are also discussed. Specific approaches within the scope of the support worker to reduce discomfort or pain (within the context of a plan of support of care) are covered. Care of the person at the time of death, care of the body after death, as well as any procedures which must be followed are discussed. Finally students will have the opportunity to examine personal reactions to the death of a client and to learn and demonstrate ways in which they may assist grieving family members.

    Essentials in Hospice & Palliative Care (8 hours)
    Students will develop supportive strategies for both patients and family. This course is designed to enhance students understanding of the nature of grief. Students will strengthen communication skills and avoid common roadblocks.

    Field Placement: Practicum in Nursing or Long Term Care Facility (175 hours)
    Designed to provide an opportunity to apply classroom theory and practical exercises to a supportive supervised work environment. On the job shadowing will prepare the students for the workforce and will enhance in the development of qualitative professional competency. Field placement practicum / clinical is completed in a host community setting. Supervised practicum takes place in an institutional setting.

  • Fees & Expenses


    Tuition fees listed are in effect for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Application Fee: $100.00
    • Textbooks: $975.00
    • Postal Fee: $49.00
    • Tuition Fee: $3,825.00

    Total Tuition & Fees: $4,949.00