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Disability Support Worker Certificate

Program Start: 1 September 2021
Application Deadline: 30 April 2021
Location: Tisdale
Credit Granting Institution: Sask Polytech
Length: 37 weeks


Disability Support Worker is a one-year certificate program offered at Cumberland College.  Learn from experienced instructors how to provide compassionate, respectful care for individuals with challenging needs and disabling conditions. You will 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.

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.


  • Grade 12
  • English Language Requirement
Tuition: $5,400*
Books & Supplies: $1,000*
Student Fees: $85
Health & Dental Plan: $252*
*Note: Tuition, Books and Supplies, Health and Dental amounts are approximate, based on last year's program and may change at anytime.


  • International Tuition:  $18,000*
  • Accepted 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.  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.
  • Upon acceptance, Proof of current Standard First Aid and CPR 'C' or equivalent may be required prior to entry into a practicum.

Disability Support Worker includes the following courses

Basic Care Skills (PERS 180)

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.

Comprehensive Behavioural Support (HUMS 180)

You will study the implementation process of various approaches including restrictive procedures, trauma informed care and strategies used to support positive behaviours.

Disability Support Worker Integration Seminar 1 (SEM 184)

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.

Disability Support Worker Integration Seminar 2 (SEM 284)

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.


PRAC 382(concurrent)

Diversity (CLTR 100)

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.

Employability Skills (EMPL 180)

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.


Equivalent Course(s): COM 103, COM 105, COMM 292, EMPL 180CE, EMPS 105

Human Growth & Development (HUMD 188)

You will learn the physical, sensory, perceptual, cognitive, social, and personality stages of human growth and development from conception to death.


Interpersonal Communications (COMM 291)

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, listening skills, creating positive communication climates and resolving interpersonal conflict.


Equivalent Course(s):  BCOM 103, COMM 112, COMM 135, COMM 155, COMM 160, COMM 381, HUMR 181, HUMR 186, JOBS 190, NEPS 114, NURS 114, NURS 163

Introduction to Crisis Prevention (SFTY 184)

You will develop strategies for crisis prevention in working with people based on the crisis prevention model.

Introduction to Disability Support Worker and Services (SPSY 101)

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.

Orientation to Practicum (ORTN 382)

You will be introduced to the workplace and occupational role settings involved in working with persons with disabilities.


HLTH 104(concurrent), EMPL 180(concurrent)

Person-Centredness (PLAN 182)

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.

Practicum 1 (PRAC 382)

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.


ORTN 382, PERS 180, SEM 184, SEM 284(concurrent)

Practicum 2 (PRAC 383)

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.

Quality of Life Enhancements (HLTH 182)

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.

Understanding Exceptionalities 1 (SPSY 186)

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.

Understanding Exceptionalities 2 (SPSY 291)

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.


SPSY 186

Wholistic Health (HLTH104)

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.

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