Disability Support Worker

Certificate
Disability Support Worker

Program Overview

Do you like working with people? Do you believe everyone has the right to live life to the fullest? Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Disability Support Worker program offers the training you need to be a community service worker, supportive living worker, educational assistant or life enrichment worker.

Disability support workers are entrusted with the basic personal care of participants of all ages in residential and vocational settings. You’ll need strong communication skills, a common-sense approach to problem solving, an intuitive understanding of human behaviour and a steady personality.

Disability Support Worker is a one-year certificate program offered at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Saskatoon campus . It is also offered through distance and/or continuing education. Learn from experienced instructors how to provide compassionate, respectful care for individuals with challenging needs and disabling conditions. You’ll develop knowledge and practical skills in:

  • basic care skills
  • behavioural support and crisis prevention
  • disability support services
  • exceptionalities and human growth & development
  • interpersonal, professional and employability skills
  • person-centred planning
  • quality of life enhancements

Enhancing Lives

As a disability support worker, you’ll be working with people of all ages and varying levels of ability. The program not only provides the practical skills you’ll need, it also provides a broad knowledge base. You’ll have the tools you need to enhance individual lives, while also build a rewarding career for yourself.

Practical Experience

Practical experience is an essential part of your program. You’ll get direct experience helping individuals in two practicums with residential, vocational centre-based or community-based agencies. In caring, secure and stimulating environments, you’ll develop your skills in providing basic care, planning programs and implementing activities.

The Disability Support Worker curriculum has recently been revised. Students who started taking courses for this program prior to July 1, 2019 have until July 1, 2021 to take the following four courses:

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

When you graduate, you’ll be qualified to work as a disability support worker, supportive living worker, educational assistant, vocational training worker or community residential worker. Work environments include health care and long-term care facilities, educational institutions, group homes and more.  Look for job opportunities with community-based agencies, school systems and government agencies.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at a campus nearest you.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Disability Support WorkerCommunity and Social Service Workers (4212)$31,200 - $68,700

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 37 weeks

Locations

  • Saskatoon

Part-time Delivery

In order to graduate and receive a credential for this program, part-time students must apply to the program and be admitted before taking the clinicals or practicums. 

View the program page for a complete list of courses and additional information.

Admissions

Admission Requirements

Note

  • Admitted students will be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search prior to entering required coursework and practicum with children, youth and adults. At the discretion of the agency, a student may be declined access to a practicum placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check, personal interview and/or medical assessment. A student must complete the practicum placements to graduate from the program. The cost of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search is the student's responsibility.
  • Program applicants should be aware that, for the purpose of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search, they must request this from the police service in their home country/community, whether it is from a municipal/city police service or from the RCMP detachment that services their home area.
  • Proof of current Standard First Aid and CPR 'C' or equivalent may be required prior to entry into a practicum.

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 250 Reading
  • 245 Writing
  • 4 Writeplacer

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

 

2019/20 Academic Year

$7,410

International Students

View tuition rates for international students.

Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
EMPL 180
Employability Skills
3
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You will receive instruction and practice in written communication skills needed in the workplace. You will develop effective job search strategies, with emphasis on communicating a professional image through job search materials and interview skills.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): COM 103, COM 105, COMM 292, EMPL 180CE, EMPS 105
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
HLTH 104
Wholistic Health
4
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You will learn a wholistic approach that promotes health and wellness of all Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons with disabilities and disability support workers. You will study the role of the disability support worker in promoting person-centred decision-making, sexual well-being, abuse prevention and intervention in your professional role.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 104CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
ORTN 382
Orientation to Practicum
4
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You will be introduced to the workplace and occupational role settings involved in working with persons with disabilities.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 104(concurrent), EMPL 180(concurrent)
Corequisites(s):
Equivalent Course(s): ORTN 382CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Online, Prior Learning
PERS 180
Basic Care Skills
3
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You will learn and demonstrate the attitudes and skills of providing personal and physical daily care to persons with disabilities. You will learn the essential role of dignity and respect in person-centred planning and care. You will discuss your legal and ethical responsibilities while providing care. You will develop skills to safely assist individuals with activities of daily living and to support their optimal levels of independence. You will study the process of medication administration.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 186, PERS 180CE, SPCR 182
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
PLAN 182
Person-Centredness
3
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You will be introduced to person-centred planning in the context of program planning and implementation. You will study and practice the skills needed for accurate report writing and documentation.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): PLAN 182CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SEM 184
Disability Support Worker Integration Seminar 1
1
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You will discuss practicum placement experiences to identify professional practice as it applies to services for persons with disabilities with an emphasis on respectful interaction and confidentiality. You will have an opportunity to reflect on professional practice and discuss the application of theory and knowledge on practice. You will develop a professional portfolio containing documents required for practicum.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 382, SEM 184CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SFTY 184
Introduction to Crisis Prevention
1
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You will develop strategies for crisis prevention in working with people based on the crisis prevention model.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Equivalent Course(s): SFTY 184CE, SFTY 194
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SPSY 101
Introduction to Disability Support Worker and Services
4
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You will examine the services available for persons with disabilities. You will study the professional role and expectations of disability support workers. You will be introduced to legislation that governs employer/employee relationships and to the importance of diversity and cultural inclusion in the workplace.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): SPSY 101CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SPSY 186
Understanding Exceptionalities 1
3
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You will be introduced to the range of exceptionalities that persons with disabilities may experience across the lifespan. You will explore the role of the disability support worker who supports persons with exceptionalities. You will study principles and practices that underlie the care and education of people with exceptionalities, disabilities and disorders.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): SPSY 186CE, SPSY 281
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning

Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLTR 100
Diversity
3
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You will examine the elements of cultural, gender and disability diversity in Canada and how it impacts legislation in the workplace. You will explore elements of Indigenous culture with a view to understanding both historical elements and contemporary issues in Canada. Your studies will also provide opportunities to participate in current Indigenous cultural practices.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): CLTR 100CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Web Assisted Delivery Group
COMM 291
Interpersonal Communications
2
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You will develop employability skills through the study of interpersonal communications theory and applications in the workplace. Learning outcomes include the importance of self-awareness and self-esteem, perception problems, verbal and nonverbal messages, and listening skills, creating positive communication climates and resolving interpersonal conflict.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Equivalent Course(s): BCOM 103, COMM 112, COMM 135, COMM 155, COMM 160, COMM 291CE, COMM 381, HUMR 182, HUMR 186, JOBS 190, NEPS 114, NURS 114, NURS 163
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning, Televised/SCN, Work Based Delivery
HLTH 182
Quality of Life Enhancements
3
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You will explore community based and person-centred planning and decision making based on the full participation of persons with disabilities. You will use a wholistic approach to quality of life enhancements and explore the Indigenous community.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 182CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
HUMD 188
Human Growth and Development
4
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You will learn the physical, sensory, perceptual, cognitive, social, and personality stages of human growth and development from conception to death.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): HUMD 188CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
HUMS 180
Comprehensive Behavioural Support
3
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You will study the implementation process of various approaches including restrictive procedures, trauma informed care and strategies used to support positive behaviours.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): HUMS 180CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
PRAC 382
Practicum 1
8
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You will apply knowledge and principles learned in the program. You will develop the skills needed to work as a disability support worker in a residential, centre-based or community-based agency which provides services to persons with disabilities.
Credit Units: 8
Course Hours: 120.0
Prerequisites(s): ORTN 382, PERS 180, SEM 184, SEM 284(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 382CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning
SEM 284
Disability Support Worker Integration Seminar 2
1
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You will reflect on practicum experiences and apply theories, knowledge, and skills to practicum placements. You will discuss current issues as well as ethical and professional conduct in relation to practicum experience. You will develop an updated professional portfolio integrating professional experiences and personal career goals.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 382(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 383, SEM 284CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SPSY 291
Understanding Exceptionalities 2
3
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You will study health disorders, challenges with concurrent health conditions and the role of the disability support worker. You will focus on the developmental consequences of having a disability and intervention strategies.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): SPSY 186
Equivalent Course(s): SPSY 282, SPSY 291CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning

Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
PRAC 383
Practicum 2
10
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You will develop greater independence and expand the skill set needed to work as a disability support worker in a residential, centre-based, or community-based agency providing services to persons with disabilities.
Credit Units: 10
Course Hours: 150.0
Prerequisites(s): EMPL 180, CLTR 100, SFTY 184, HLTH 182, HLTH 104, HUMD 188, HUMS 180, PLAN 182, SEM 284, SPSY 291, SPSY 101
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 383CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning

 

Note: Students must be admitted to the program before taking the practicums.

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