Location
Start Dates

  • August 29, 2019
Duration

4Terms

Course Delivery

  • In Class
  • Any-time Online
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $9,258
International: CAD $26,778

Program Description

Imagine a career where you help others reach their potential. The 16-month diploma will equip you to support the well-being of people with disabilities. You'll also learn how to create inclusive and diverse communities. 

After graduation, you can work in a leadership role in many services that support people with disabilities. These include education, not-for-profit agencies, or directly with families. 

The program combines classroom learning with practical experience. Classes are generally scheduled between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. 

If you plan to take the diploma online, note that we do not offer all courses online every term. This means your program could last longer than 16 months. 

If you plan to do your practicum outside of Alberta, you must speak to the program coordinator before applying for the program. Contact 403-410-1650 to speak to the program coordinator.

Students registered in the traditional full-time Disability Studies Diploma program must write the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES)

Additional information

The links below are examples of where you might work as a certificate or diploma graduate in Disability Studies.

Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) 

This is a province wide not-for-profit association. It supports people with developmental disabilities or brain injury.

Alberta Disability Workers Association

A professional association for workers in Alberta supporting people with disabilities.

Autism Calgary

An organization that brings hope and help to people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Children’s Link

The Children’s Link Society helps families and professionals who deal with children with special needs.

Inclusion Alberta

Inclusion Alberta is a non-profit federation that advocates for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Providence Child Care

Providence Child Care offers early childhood programs, schools, and community services that help every child reach their potential

Renfrew Education Services

Renfrew Educational Services is a leader in program development for children with special needs.

There are also positions for education assistants in classrooms for children with a disability.

Hear about one of the program's grads! Erwin Bear Chief completed his Education Assistant Certificate and his Disability Studies Diploma. Read his story. 

Related Links


Course Listings Request More Information
Prospective Student Centre

Room S1111, South Campus
345 - 6 Avenue SE
403-410-1402
Toll-free: 1-866-428-2669
info@bowvalleycollege.ca


Admission Requirements

Academic requirements
  • Credit in English 30-1 or 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent

Or

  • Successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) test, that consists of five tests, with a minimum score in the following sections:
    • Writing Skills: 520 minimum standard score
    • Interpreting Literature and Art: 520 minimum standard score

Or

  • Satisfactory results on the Bow Valley College Admissions Test
Pre-practicum requirement

The Disability Studies program includes practicum placements in agencies where employers require a Police Information Check with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS). Results of this check may restrict opportunities for placement in a practicum. The Police Information Check must be obtained before the start of the practicum and may need to be renewed more than once while enrolled in a program. 

English language proficiency requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should see the English language proficiency requirements page for details.


Transferability

Transfer opportunities are available to a variety of institutions.Transfer credits are reviewed and accepted on an individual basis by the institution to which you apply. Here are the most current transfer agreements:
• two-year block transfer to the University of Calgary Community
Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
• University of Lethbridge – Heath Sciences
• Pacific Coast University – Disability Management Studies
• University of Victoria – Bachelor of Arts, Health & Community Services

Course Listings Request More Information
Prospective Student Centre

Room S1111, South Campus
345 - 6 Avenue SE
403-410-1402
Toll-free: 1-866-428-2669
info@bowvalleycollege.ca

Course Listing


Term 1

Required CoursesCredit

Learners explore principles of interpersonal relationships and communication, considering the roles of culture, perception, and listening therein. They practice verbal, nonverbal, conversational, and technology-mediated messaging necessary for effective communication within personal and professional contexts.

Course Delivery
Blended Attend class via a blend of scheduled in-class and online delivery methods.

Disability Studies is a study of the social, cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives of disability. It is grounded by the belief that the creation of knowledge about disability should be WITH/BY disabled people themselves. This course will provide learners with the historical background of disability and the contexts and paradigms it currently uses today.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

Developing a vision WITH a person involves being able to envision a positive and valued future for and with the person and their network of allies. This course introduces the learner to the process of planning a vision with people with disabilities. Current planning strategies will be reviewed and critiqued and emphasis will be on the philosophical principles and values that underlie each approach. Learners will practice writing clear implementation plans that incorporate the practices of inclusion, empowerment, and individualization in the planning process.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This course develops knowledge of the history, philosophy, legislation, values, trends and isues related to exceptional learners. It explores student inclusion and provides a wide overview of exceptionalities ranging from mild to severe and child to adulthood. Access and retrieval of information on exceptionalities is emphasized.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This first-year composition course introduces learners to academic writing and critical thinking. They read and analyze sociopolitical, cultural, and gender issues in texts with an emphasis on experiences of people whose voices were historically silenced, particularly those of Canada's Indigenous communities. Learners develop strategies to communicate their own ideas and integrate them with those of others by quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing the work of other authors. Learners present their written assignments professionally according to APA formatting guidelines.

Course Delivery
Real-time Online Attend class online at scheduled times, at a location of your choosing. Blended Attend class via a blend of scheduled in-class and online delivery methods. Combined Online Combines elements of any-time and real-time online classes. Participate at times of your choosing in addition to some scheduled online activities. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

Term 2

Required CoursesCredit

This course is an introduction to the historical and contemporary models of services and supports for those who face barriers in employment. It will introduce practices that engage people to discover their personal and professional potential through employment and community contribution. An emphasis will be placed on the importance of creating and sustaining valued roles for marginalized people in society.

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses. Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course is an introduction to the general principles and strategies of mental health and mental health for people with developmental disabilities. Key strategies in promoting wellness with and for persons with disabilities will be examined.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course introduces learners to the concept of human behaviour as communication, as well as the approaches and techniques that may be used in response to difficult and challenging behaviours demonstrated by a person with disabilities. The focus is on designing "positive behavioural change strategies" for a variety of settings: home, work, school, community. These strategies will include teaching functional skills as well as supporting communication development and positive behavioural change.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This practicum provides learners with the opportunity to begin integrating theory and practice in the provision of support services to people with disabilities. Learners are placed in community and agency settings and supervised by agency staff. Weekly seminars provide opportunity for reflection and the integration of theory and practice.
Pre- or co-requisite: 12 credits of DCSC/DCSD program.

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses. Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of human growth and development and typical behavioural responses throughout the lifespan. You will analyze human development across three domains: biological, psychological, and sociological. Emphasis is placed upon the stages of development and their linkage to common events occurring during these stages.

Course Delivery
Real-time Online Attend class online at scheduled times, at a location of your choosing. Blended Attend class via a blend of scheduled in-class and online delivery methods. Combined Online Combines elements of any-time and real-time online classes. Participate at times of your choosing in addition to some scheduled online activities. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

Term 3

Required CoursesCredit

This course explores the factors that motivate behavior and learning. Learners study life outcomes for people with disabilities and complex behavior needs through an integrated system lens that includes positive behavior supports, person centered planning and wraparound services. Through the use of ecological and functional assessment tools leaners will develop a variety of multi-element positive behavior intervention and supports that focus on quality of life.

Course Delivery

This course provides learners with an overview of the skills and attitudes necessary to work professionally and competently with people with disabilities and complex behavioural needs. The focus is on developing an understanding of the diverse roles that Community Support Practitioners in a complex behaviour needs setting are responsible for in their day-to-day work with people and communities. Learners will have the opportunity to develop knowledge of the skills required to completely fulfill such roles as community advocate, employment coach, residential support worker, outreach worker, team leader, and case manager. Learners also apply their knowledge of assessment to the design of a behaviour support plan that integrates multi-element positive behaviour interventions and strategies.
Prerequisite:
Pre- or co-requisite: HMSV2302 and DAST2302 and 3 credits of second year DCSD courses

Course Delivery
Real-time Online Attend class online at scheduled times, at a location of your choosing. Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This advanced course focuses on building skills for working cooperatively with children and adults in a family. The course covers diverse family structure and relationships as well as issues facing families today. The course involves instruction, reflection, and the explicit integration of theories of practice with difficult family dynamics. Discussions include family theory from diverse and Indigenous perspectives.

Prerequisite: 12 credits.

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This course is designed to help learners become critically aware of the economic, social, and political environment within which they will eventually work. It will examine the process by which health, social policy, and justice policy, is developed in Canada and encourages reflection upon the ways social policy impacts our lives.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses. Blended Attend class via a blend of scheduled in-class and online delivery methods.

Career ElectivesChoose one(1) of the following:

The various challenges families and caregivers for members with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder include - divorce, death, poverty, violence are critically reviewed. Approaches are given to working in partnership with parents, and caregivers, across the cultural diversity in Canada today.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course offers an introduction to the challenges faced by individuals affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, their families, support workers, and the community. Topics include terminology, assessment/diagnostic processes, and primary and secondary characteristics as they present across the lifespan. Emphasis is on components and functions of the brain and the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on attention, memory, cognition, language, sensory perception, social emotional behaviours and impulsivity.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course looks at various types of addictions and their impact on individuals. It looks at substances and their impact on body mind and behavior, and addresses substances by category and by individual addiction to understand their history, appeal risks and impact. Emphasis is given on addictions treatment theory and services.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course offers an examination of the various types of prevention and intervention initiatives at the regional, provincial and national judicial levels. Emphasis is on strategies that create holistic community supports including those that address safety issues, sexuality, abuse and interactions with the legal/justice systems.

Course Delivery
Real-time Online Attend class online at scheduled times, at a location of your choosing.

This course examines instructional and behavior support techniques that are used in classrooms where students may have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It focuses on assessment, and individual program planning and the role of the educational assistant and teacher in the team.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

The lives of individuals with disabilities can be improved through the use of assistive technology. In this course, learners investigate the principles of universal design and explore how those principles guide the incorporation of assistive technology into daily activities. Learners explore a variety of current assistive technologies and strategies for their use with individuals and groups.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This course introduces learners to basic counselling skills. As such, it is designed to help learners develop essential helping skills needed for client engagement, follow-through, completion and overall therapeutic effectiveness. Specific skills and techniques covered include; developing rapport, building empathy and listening, encouraging trust, self-disclosure, immediacy, questioning and evoking, addressing discrepancies, etc. It will also take a look at the theories behind effective techniques such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, person centered and solution focus therapies. This course is highly experiential in its format. Learners will participate in classroom exercises, role playing and receiving feedback from Instructors and peers.

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses. Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

Term 4

Required CoursesCredit

This course introduces the skills for building stronger communities that support and include members with disabilities in meaningful ways. Learners develop knowledge about the principles of community development, the essential skills of networking and the art of relationship building. The emphasis is on building and nurturing community connections between citizens in a way that values the unique skills and strengths of people with and without disabilities.
Prerequisite: DAST1999

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This course is designed to develop skills for working with groups through a combination of lectures, observation and experiential learning. The stages of development, group roles and norms, theoretical framework, intervention, group design, implementation and evaluation will be addressed.
Prerequisite: COMM1101

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

This course focuses on providing learners with theoretical and practical information about principles of effective leadership and the structure and management of organizations. Learners will explore the theory and practice of leadership and organizational development in the context of human services organizations and funders.
Prerequisite: Completion of first-year capstone in any human services certificate or diploma program.

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

Career ElectivesChoose one(1) of the following

This interactive course focuses on advocacy issues in the field of Disability Studies and the impact on the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Stages of social change and tools used in lobbying are taught using past and current case studies.
Pre- or co-requisite: DAST2998

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

The various challenges families and caregivers for members with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder include - divorce, death, poverty, violence are critically reviewed. Approaches are given to working in partnership with parents, and caregivers, across the cultural diversity in Canada today.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course offers an introduction to the challenges faced by individuals affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, their families, support workers, and the community. Topics include terminology, assessment/diagnostic processes, and primary and secondary characteristics as they present across the lifespan. Emphasis is on components and functions of the brain and the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on attention, memory, cognition, language, sensory perception, social emotional behaviours and impulsivity.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course looks at various types of addictions and their impact on individuals. It looks at substances and their impact on body mind and behavior, and addresses substances by category and by individual addiction to understand their history, appeal risks and impact. Emphasis is given on addictions treatment theory and services.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course offers an examination of the various types of prevention and intervention initiatives at the regional, provincial and national judicial levels. Emphasis is on strategies that create holistic community supports including those that address safety issues, sexuality, abuse and interactions with the legal/justice systems.

Course Delivery
Real-time Online Attend class online at scheduled times, at a location of your choosing.

This course examines instructional and behavior support techniques that are used in classrooms where students may have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It focuses on assessment, and individual program planning and the role of the educational assistant and teacher in the team.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email.

This course is an overview of Canada's First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. Historical and current issues are covered, including languages, stories of origin, different band treaties, and current issues of ownership over land, water and governance.

Course Delivery
Any-time Online Use the provided course materials and progress at your own pace at home. Support is available via telephone and email. In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

PracticumLearners must also complete one of the following two courses:

This practicum course consists of practical experience in an agency providing services to people with disabilities. The practicum is designed to enable learners to further apply the theories. principles and techniques studied in the classroom to the practical setting. Learners are also offered the opportunity to focus on an area of interest to complete a capstone project to highlight their knowledge, experience, research and analysis gained. Weekly seminars provide opportunity for reflection and the integration of theory and practice.
Prerequisite: DAST2998
Pre- or co-requisite: HMSV2503 and 9 credits of second year DCSD courses

Course Delivery
In Class Classes meet for lectures, labs, or seminars at scheduled times at one of Bow Valley College's campuses.

Prerequisite: Departmental approval

Course Delivery
Off-Campus Participate in scheduled activities at a non-college location.

Program FAQs

Yes, see above information in Admission requirements, transferability.

Yes, there are three practicums in the diploma. Each is designed to increase your practice skills in different areas of services with children and adults.

Yes, many adult services and schools hire diploma graduates. 

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