Development Services Worker

  • Program Title: Development Services Worker
    Credential: Diploma
    Delivery: Online
    Program Length: 52 Weeks
    Program Availability: Full-time

    Upon successful completion of the Developmental Services Worker program, graduates
    are prepared to act in a professional, ethical, competent and accountable manner.
    They work in accordance with human rights, the Developmental Services Worker
    Standards of Practice, legal and ethical requirements and policies and practices of the
    developmental services sector. They have a legal responsibility to maintain zero
    tolerance of all forms of abuse.

    Students of the Developmental Services Worker program are trained to provide
    person-directed supports and services for people with developmental disabilities in a
    manner that is respectful and fosters self-determination and empowerment. Additionally,
    graduates are prepared to promote the development of inclusive communities.

    In practice, graduates demonstrate qualities such as creative problem solving, resiliency
    and initiative as outlined in the Developmental Services Human Resources Strategy
    Core Competencies. They are able to teach skills using strategies that are adapted to
    individual learning styles and to communicate effectively using a variety of forms.

    Students are trained to maintain the health and safety of the people they support;
    provide health care, perform health care procedures and administer medications within
    their scope of practice. Developmental Services Worker program graduates can work in a
    variety of areas including education, accommodation, employment support, advocacy
    and recreation.

    Graduates of the Developmental Services Worker program recognize that ongoing
    professional development is essential to ensure that they continue to provide quality
    support to people with developmental disabilities.

    Students are employed as support workers by developmental services agencies which
    offer accommodation, community participation, employment support and leisure support
    services. Graduates are also employed as educational assistants by boards of
    education.

    Prior to Practicum:

    • Medical form from a Canadian licenced physician stating fitness to complete the practicum and absence of communicable diseases
    • Negative Police Check, including vulnerable sector

  • Admission Requirements

    • Grade 12 or OSSD Equivalent
    • Mature Student with Wonderlic SLE min. score 60 on test
    • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this online program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your 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.

  • Courses

    1. Introduction to the Field of Developmental Services
    2. The Nature of Developmental Disabilities
    3. Autism Spectrum Disorders
    4. Grammar and Writing Skills for the Health Professional
    5. Communications Disorders
    6. Developmental Psychology Across the Lifespan
    7. Working with Families and Persons with Developmental Disabilities
    8. Person Directed Supports and Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
    9. Behavioral Support Techniques
    10. Health and Wellness Principles
    11. Dual Diagnosis; Mental Health and Persons with Developmental Disabilities
    12. Building Community
    13. Adult Development and Aging
    14. Essentials of Pharmacology
    15. Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems
    16. Practicum Preparation and Placement I Community Setting (120 Hours)
    17. Introduction to Educational Psychology in Canada
    18. Paraprofessionals (The Role of the Classroom Education Assistant)
    19. Individual Education Plan
    20. Communication Strategies for Inclusive Education
    21. Professional Development; Competencies and Standards of Practice
    22. Self-Care Strategies for the Developmental Services Worker
    23. Computer Basics (Word, Excel. Power Point)
    24. Practicum Preparation and Placement II Educational Setting (120 Hours)
    25. Indigenous Canada

  • Learning Outcomes

    The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

    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.

  • Course Descriptions

    Introduction to the Field of Developmental Services

    Graduates will learn the soft skills and basic clinical skills for those entering health care training programs or considering a career in health care. Students will also learn the developmental services worker core competencies and those required by all health care professions, including communication, infection control, and professionalism along with the steps to developing critical thinking skills of thinking like a health care professional.

    The Nature of Developmental Disabilities

    In this introductory subject to the nature of developmental disabilities, students will learn about working with people who have developmental difficulties by gaining an understanding of their needs to provide support around communication, quality of needed support and services and issues that are based on a day-to-day basis. Rather than focus on any one type of developmental disability, this subject serves as the framework for my in-depth studies through the Developmental Services Worker program.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders

    In this subject, students will learn about Autism Spectrum Disorders evidence-based practices and approaches. Students will also learn the current trends in research and practice including special research, diversity, and issues that will help clarify the concepts and application of the learning.

    Grammar and Writing Skills for the Health Professional

    Graduates will learn how to combine correct grammar with medical language as they prepare professional reports and documentation. Focusing on basic grammar, students will learn entry-level health guidelines along with practical knowledge needed in real-world practice. Building on the basic’s students will then focus on more advanced grammar and writing skills.

    Communications Disorders

    In this subject, students will learn the characteristics, needs, and strengths of students with communication exceptionalities, including students with speech and language disorders. Students will also learn specific characteristics and classroom communication strategies and how to make appropriate adjustments to student’s unique verbal and non-verbal communication styles.

    Developmental Psychology Across the Lifespan

    Graduates will learn the essentials of child and adolescent development. Students will explore the causes and complexities of human development and acquire a knowledge of developmental principles that will assist them with their roles when working with persons with developmental challenges, their families and other members in the capacity of support in the lives of developing individuals.

    Working with Families and Persons with Developmental Disabilities

    In this subject, students will focus on the families of special needs children to understand the challenges and needs of these families as well as the skills and strategies required of developmental services workers and educators working with such families. Students will also learn the common legal and ethical concerns surrounding children with special needs and their families and the unique approaches required due to the diversity in families with special needs children, cultural considerations, age, and communication styles.

    Person Directed Supports and Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

    Graduates will learn the principles and values of person directed planning and facilitation when working with persons with developmental disabilities. The goal of this work is to enable persons with developmental disabilities to live independently as possible in the community and to support their full inclusion in all aspects of society. Students will also learn the six underlying principles that support the person directed planning and facilitation process.

    Behavioral Support Techniques

    In this subject, students will focus on observable behaviours and the environmental factors that affect their expression. Student will look at what demystifies stereotypical beliefs and misconceptions regarding the use of reinforcement, punishment, and self-control and learn techniques based on a sound theoretical and empirical foundation.

    Health and Wellness Principles

    Graduates will be guided in the principles of adopting a healthy lifestyle. From the physical and mental to social and sexual, students will learn the concepts of health, including mind, body, and spirit to take charge of on one’s health. Students will also learn the skills and habits formed along with the choices made and the way to live day by day that shape one’s health and future to live a fulfilling life and apply the core principles when working with persons with developmental disabilities.

    Dual Diagnosis; Mental Health and Persons with Developmental Disabilities

    In this subject, students will learn about the disorders in the context of typical development and developmental pathways. For each disorder (across descriptions of clinical presentation, course, and treatment), students will learn the continuity between typical and atypical development; risk and resilience; complex models of psychopathology; children in relationships over time; children in larger social contexts (e.g., neighborhoods); and the holistic nature of development (e.g., thinking about the child’s abilities and strengths as well as his or her disorder). Students will also be exposed to neuroscience research and greater emphasis on the multiple environments in which children are embedded to assist with understanding of child and adolescent psychopathology and empirically supported treatment.

    Building Community

    Graduates will learn the essentials of community development and capacity building with a focus on developing potential and enhancing community living. Students will learn how community development is initiated and the steps in the community development process. Students will learn how to use Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) strategies to strengthen communities and include people at risk for marginalization.

    Adult Development and Aging

    In this subject, students will be exposed to a bio-psychosocial framework, covering the specific ages-stages of adult development and aging. Students will experience the connections between research and application with a focus on “positive aging” and the gains and losses people experience across adulthood.

    Essentials of Pharmacology

    Graduates will learn the principles of pharmacology and calculations in a simplified step-by-step process. Students will also learn medication preparation, supplies, and specific information on each route of administration by following administration checklists allow the learner to put the knowledge into practice. Students will also learn how to organize drugs by classifications including their purpose, side effects, cautions, interactions, and contraindications.

    Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems

    In the subject students will learn about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) as communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. Students will also learn that AAC is used by those with a wide range of speech and language impairments and be introduced to assistive technology used in the educational setting to aid communications.

    Practicum Preparation and Placement, I Community Setting (120 Hours)

    The practicum component of the Developmental Services program involves the student in two placement opportunities; one in the community setting and the other one in the education setting. Students will apply their knowledge and practical application studies to the real-world gaining insightful experience in working with persons with developmental disabilities.

    Introduction to Educational Psychology in Canada

    Graduates will learn information and ideas that are drawn from research in educational psychology and how this learning can be applied to solve the everyday problems of teaching. Students will also learn the educational implications and applications of research on child development, cognitive science, learning, motivation, teaching, and assessment.

    Paraprofessionals (The Role of the Classroom Education Assistant)

    In this subject, students will learn the fundamentals of inclusive teaching, the most effective general teaching practices, and ways to differentiate instruction for specific content areas. Targeted teaching strategies show ways to improve all students’ memory, attention, motivation, study skills, and peer interaction. Students will also learn validated strategies and learn to demonstrate why particular techniques are best practice and most effective.

    Individual Education Plan

    Graduates will learn the specialized requirements when working with students with
    special needs to develop, implement, and monitor high-quality Individual Education Plan (IEP). Students will also learn the recommended five step process that is used to meet the requirements and standards with a focus on customizing the Individual Education Plan (IEP) to the unique need of each individual student.

    Communication Strategies for Inclusive Education

    In this subject, students will learn the characteristics, needs, and strengths of students with communication exceptionalities, including students with speech and language disorders. Students will also learn specific characteristics and classroom communication strategies and how to make appropriate adjustments to student’s unique verbal and non-verbal communication styles.

    Professional Development; Competencies and Standards of Practice

    Graduates will review the essentials of how to get a job in health care including the employment cycle, job research, writing resumes, completing applications and preparing for interviews. Students will also learn the DSW Standards of Practice, Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

    Self-Care Strategies for the Developmental Services Worker

    In this subject, students will learn the tools they need to create their own personal balance between caring for themselves and caring for others. Students will also learn the tools of resiliency and self-care action plans to assist them within their work along with ongoing opportunities for professional development to remain current in their field of work.

    Computer Basics (Word, Excel. Power Point)

    Graduates will be provided with the resources and guidance to develop skills in Microsoft Office 2016 applications, focusing on Windows 10, and the basics of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Students will be provided with guided practice as well as independent projects, improve it projects and challenge projects to development and enhance Microsoft Office 2016 proficiency.

    Practicum Preparation and Placement II Educational Setting (120 Hours)

    The practicum component of the Developmental Services program involves the student in two placement opportunities; one in the community setting and the other one in the education setting. Students will apply their knowledge and practical application studies to the real-world gaining insightful experience in working with persons with developmental disabilities.

    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.

  • Fees & Expenses


    Tuition fees listed are in effect for this academic year.

    • Tuition Fee: 5,185.00
    • Textbook Fee: 1,900.00
    • Registration Fee: 100.00
    • Advance Standing Fee: 100.00
    • Shipping Fee: 61.00

    Total Fees: $7,346.00

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