- August 30 2018
- In Class
- Any-time Online
Tuition & Fees
Domestic: CAD $9,258
International: CAD $26,778
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 a 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).
The links below are examples of where you might work as a certificate or diploma graduate in Disability Studies.
This is a province wide not-for-profit association. It supports people with developmental disabilities or brain injury.
A professional association for workers in Alberta supporting people with disabilities.
An organization that brings hope and help to people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Children’s Link Society helps families and professionals who deal with children with special needs.
Inclusion Alberta is a non-profit federation that advocates for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Providence Child Care offers early childhood programs, schools, and community services that help every child reach their potential
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.
- Alberta Disability Workers Association
- Autism Calgary
- Children's Link
- Inclusion Alberta
- Providence Child Care
- Renfrew Education Services
Course Listings Request More Information
Prospective Student Centre
Room S1111, South Campus
345 - 6 Avenue SE
- Credit in English 30-1 or 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent
- 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
- Satisfactory results on the Bow Valley College Admissions Test
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.
The Disability Studies Diploma has a two-year block transfer with the University of Calgary. A degree in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Transfer is also available with Lethbridge University and Pacific Coast University.
This first-year composition course provides students with a solid grounding in the processes that writers use to communicate clearly in the academic context. By reading and analyzing texts from a broad spectrum of purposes, cultures, historical periods, and disciplines, students develop strategies to communicate their own ideas and integrate them with those of others. Students learn to quote, paraphrase, and summarize the work of other authors, prepare documents according to APA format, and write research papers.
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.
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.
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.
Learners explore principles of interpersonal relationships and communication, considering the roles of culture, perception, and listening therein. They practice verbal, nonverbal, conversational, and computer-mediated messaging necessary for effective communication within personal and professional contexts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This 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, role play, and integration on theories of practice with difficult family dynamics. Discussions include family theory from diverse perspectives.
Prerequisite: Completion of first-year capstone in any human services certificate or diploma program.
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.
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.
Pre- or co-requisite: HMSV2302 and 3 credits of second year DCSD courses
This course explores the factors that motivate behaviour and learning. Learners study life outcomes for people with disabilities and complex behaviour needs through an integrated system lens that includes positive behaviour supports, person centered planning and wraparound services. Through the use of ecological and functional assessment tools learners will develop a variety of multi-element positive behavior intervention and supports that focus on quality of life.
Prerequisite: HMSV1301 and completion of first-year capstone in any human services certificate or diploma program.
Career ElectivesChoose one(1) of the following:
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.
In this course learners will explore a variety of current assistive technologies and how these tools can be used to increase access for people with disabilities. Learners will develop strategies to effectively introduce and integrate assistive technology. Learners will explore the principles of universal design and how these principles can increase access for all students by modifying previously created resources so that they are accessible and usable for people with disabilities or special needs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pre- or co-requisite: HMSV2503 and 9 credits of second year DCSD courses
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
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.
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.
Please visit the full time course credits pages for details for each program.
Imagine a career where you make a difference every day. With the Disability Studies Certificate, you will enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities. Be a part of creating inclusive communities.