Developmental Services Worker

Program Title: Developmental Services Worker
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 4 Semesters
Program Status: CLOSED FOR SEPTEMBER 2017 INTAKE

Program Codes
A005 (PC) Timmins Campus CLOSED FOR SEPTEMBER 2017 INTAKE
A186 (CK) Distance Learning Kirkland Lake CLOSED FOR SEPTEMBER 2017 INTAKE
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.


Program Description
This program is available to students on campus and to students studying at a distance in both e-learning and correspondence format. The Developmental Services Workers (DSW) are specialists in working with children, youth and adults with disabilities. The DSW program at Northern College will help you acquire the knowledge and skills to provide support for people with various developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

You will gain practical experience in a community based fieldwork placement. As a graduate you can gain employment as a entry level disability services professional in community agencies and schools that typically deliver educational, vocational, residential and community living support services. Graduates with at least a B+ average upon completion of the DSW program and two years (or equivalent) of related work/advocacy experience may apply to the part-time Bachelor of Applied Arts (Disability Studies) program at Ryerson.

Career Opportunities
As a DSW graduate, you may find employment with boards of education, community-based agencies and with other support providers within the developmental services sector.

Contact Information
Timmins Campus
Des Quinn, M.Ed
Tel: 705-235-3211 ext. 2258
quinnd@northern.on.ca

Kirkland Lake, Haileybury, and Moosonee Campuses & Distance Learning
Kathy Smith
Tel: 705-673-3376 ext. 8821
smithk@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, U) (Minimum 60% GPA required
Grade 12 English (C, U) (Minimum 60% GPA required
Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (word processing), web search engines and e-mail systems. Students may assess whether or not they meet the computer proficiency expectations for this program by taking the free online assessment.

Or equivalent

Or mature student status (an applicant who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program). Mature students must undergo academic testing prior to admission into a program and demonstrate equivalency with English admission requirements. Call the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for more details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Other Requirements for Admission to Field Work Placement

In order to prepare you for fieldwork placement, you will be required to have a current (non-expired) WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Certificate) and current resume and cover letter.  Fieldwork placement (FWP) agencies may require additional documentation in order for you to begin FWP.  The specific documents will be made know to you in your Reflective Practice course.

A recent criminal reference/vulnerable sector check – (within 3 months) is required prior to the start of classes in September.

Students who do not comply with the immunization requirements may not be allowed into the field work settings and as such may not be able to complete the placements required for graduation from the program. CPR re-certification, criminal reference checks and immunization updates are required annually. Students will not be allowed on placement if documentation is not completed.

To be eligible for participation in field work practice, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record will result in inability to participate in fieldwork practice courses and will prevent the student from graduating.

It is important to note that this program requires a field work component. While the intent is for placements to be arranged in the student’s own community, when this is not possible, alternate communities may have to be considered. Students are responsible for the costs of travel to and from field work placement sites, labs, parking costs, etc. A dress code is in effect during all lab practice sessions and during the field work component of the programs. All theory and lab course work must be successfully completed prior to field work placements.

Students enrolled in the Developmental Services Worker program through distance learning are required to travel to a designated location during the winter semester of the first year of the program and the fall semester of the second year program to attend an Applied Health Care Lab (3 days) and the Pharmacology Lab (1 Day). For students taking the program via correspondence, the Applied Health Care Skills Lab (DS1013) and the Pharmacology Lab (AA3004) are completed while students are on placement.

A passing grade of 60% is required for all Community Services core courses and electives.

To succeed in this program, students must be highly motivated, highly committed and physically and mentally fit. Students must also have the ability to handle the physical and emotional demands required of a developmental services worker. Sensitivity, awareness and the ability to value all people, including those with developmental disabilities are essential to work in this field.

Semester 1
CM1913 Communications I – Module B
DS1002 FWP Orientation (50 Hours)
DS1014 Intro. to Developmental Services
DS2053 Supporting the Instructional Process I
AA1093 Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan
HS1022 Community Services 1st Year Orientation
PS1163 Developmental Psychology
AA1063 Behaviour Intervention

Semester 2
AA2041 Community Service Learning
AA2063 Autism Spectrum Disorders
CM2913 Communications II – Module B
DS1013 Applied Health Care Skills
DS2043 Applied Health Care Lab
DS4063 Health & Nutrition
SW2033 Crisis Intervention
SW3023 Interviewing Skills 1
PS3033 Abnormal Psychology

Semester 3
AA3004 Pharmacology Theory and Lab
DS3101 Applied Practice in Developmental Services
DS3103 Support Skills in Developmental Services
AA3063 Building Family Support
AA3053 Understanding the Family
DS3043 DSW Reflective Practice

Semester 4
DS4001 Fieldwork Placement
DS4011 Fieldwork Seminar (1 day/month)

AA2041 Community Service Learning
Volunteer hours in the Community Services programs are designed to help students develop a sense of community identity. As professionals in training, it is vitally important that students have an awareness of community strengths and needs. These volunteer hours will provide students with the opportunity to positively engage with community while having fun.

CM1913 Communications I-Module B
Communications 1 is designed to enhance students’ writing, speaking and critical thinking skills as required in both academic and workplace settings. Students reinforce correct grammar and mechanics usage, develop specialized vocabulary and apply effective writing techniques to produce a variety of documents. Topics covered include: the communications process; the writing process (planning, composing, editing); paragraph development, business correspondence; methods of research and documentation (A.P.A. format); essay/research paper structure and an introduction to portfolio development.

DS1002 Fieldwork Orientation (Volunteer – 50 hours)
DSW students must accumulate 50 hours of volunteer service or work related experience with individuals with developmental disabilities in the first semester of the program. This orientation provides the DSW student with greater exposure and awareness of the support needs of individuals and families and awareness of the role and responsibilities of a direct support worker.

AA1093 Development Disability Across the Lifespan
The quality of life for people with disabilities can be enhanced with a supportive network that understands that people with disabilities undergo growth and development in similar stages to people without disabilities. In examining the lifespan of children, youth and adults with disabilities, this course will follow a developmental approach. Various disabilities will be studied within the negotiation of developmental tasks. Current best practices in identifying and facilitating support with dignity and respect will be emphasized.

PS3033 Abnormal Psychology
This course examines various perspectives of abnormal psychology. We seek to understand the nature, causes, and treatment of abnormal behaviour. Several theoretical viewpoints will frame our discussion of abnormal psychology. The patterns of abnormal (maladaptive) behaviour to be examined are: behaviour and emotional disorders of childhood and adolescence, eating disorders, substance-related disorders, anxiety disorders, dissociative and somatoform disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. Students will also study treatment strategies and mental health law in Canada.

DS1014 Introduction to Developmental Services
The service delivery and system of supports within the developmental services sector in Ontario is currently in transition. Within this course, students will become aware of the professional competencies and standards of practice expected of direct support workers within the developmental services sector in Ontario. Students will gain a working knowledge of the philosophies, history and government legislation that impacts the lives of people with developmental disabilities. The course will focus on the evolution and provision of person- directed supports that facilitate the participation, inclusion and self- determination of persons with diverse abilities and needs. Students will be encouraged to self reflect upon their own philosophy of care and support as they prepare to become helping professionals within community services.

DS2053 Supporting the Instructional Process I
Education is an integral part of life and provides us with the academic, social and work related skills to facilitate success in daily living. Basic literacy in language and mathematics is considered to be the foundation to learning. This course examines how and why many young children, young people and adults face challenges in learning. Within the context of home, school and community, the focus of this course will be on inclusive strategies and activities that can address the learning goals of all. Learning is a life long affair.

HS1022 Community Services, Year 1 Orientation 1 week
This course in an orientation to the technological tools required for the successful completion and submission of course work, assignments, tests, and exams. You will learn how to navigate both Citrix and Blackboard, how to effectuate searches in the electronic library, adhere to expected written guidelines. You will also receive tips on getting the most out of class time, and developing studying and stress management skills.

PS1163 Developmental Psychology
This course emphasizes the continuity of development throughout the lifespan. It will focus on the interrelationships among the different stages of the lifespan and among physical, cognitive, social and personality development. The course will cover the lifespan from the crucial prenatal period through late adulthood, as well as death and the grieving process.

AA1063 Behaviour Intervention
This course will provide learners with the behaviour intervention skills necessary to work in community services as Child and Youth Workers, Developmental Services Workers, Early Childhood Educators and Education Assistants. Within this course, learners will demonstrate competency in designing and implementing a behaviour intervention plan. This course will focus on the behavioural principles and practices for understanding and effectively responding to behaviour in everyday life. Strategies for addressing challenging behaviour in the home, school, residential setting and community will be emphasized. Learning theory principles and practices for individuals with behavioural needs will be outlined. The utilization of positive, proactive strategies in modifying behaviour to support behaviour change will be emphasized. Skills to create and maintain effective learning climates will be summarized. Learners will develop a framework for understanding and dealing with aggression and crisis. They will explore the theoretical bases for aggression and will learn strategies to prevent and intervene during crises and aggressive episodes. Students will have the opportunity to become certified in Prevention and Management of Aggressive Behaviour (PMAB).

AA2063 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
This course will assist the learner in developing a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Characteristics of Autism will be explored; the triad of common difficulties will be explained and used as a basis for better understanding of individuals with an ASD. The learner will identify the particular needs of individuals with an ASD, as well as the needs of the family, the school, the community, etc. Evidence-based intervention techniques will be studied in order to provide the learner with recognized intervention methods when dealing with individuals with an ASD

CM2913 Communications II- Module B
Communications II is a continuation of Communications I and is designed to strengthen practical written and oral presentation skills. Students will apply the appropriate principles and formats to job-related documents and will continue to review grammatical structures and apply editing strategies using APA format.

DS1013 Applied Health Care Skills
This course will introduce students to the knowledge and skills required to safely assist individuals who have developmental or intellectual disabilities with their personal care tasks and activities of daily living in a variety of community settings. Using a holistic, persona-centered approach, students will learn to promote self-reliance and independence in the implementation of the personal assistance plan. The student will also be introduced to advanced health care tasks required by some clients as aspects of their daily routines of living.

DS2043 Applied Health Care Skills Lab
In this lab class, skills necessary for the DSW student as a health care team member will be taught. The expectation will be that the student will then be able to demonstrate both the theory behind the skill, as well as the skill itself, through simulation. Time will be allotted to practice in order for the student to acquire the skill at a novice level.

DS2000 FWP Orientation (50 Hours)
DSW students must accumulate 100 hours of volunteer service or work related experience with individuals with developmental disabilities in the first year of the program or have 100 hours volunteer/ co-op or work experience prior to entering this program. This orientation provides the DSW student with greater exposure and awareness of the support needs of individuals and families of the role and responsibilities of a direct support worker. DS1002 is the course code that will credit the DSW student with the remaining 50 hours of the 100 hours of Fieldwork Orientation.

DS4063 Health and Nutrition
What contributes to a healthy lifestyle and quality of life? In this course, issues and topics of interest relating to the health and wellness of Canadians will be explored. An emphasis will be placed on the knowledge, values and skills necessary to promote, health, safety and wellness at home, in the community and within the workplace. Nutrition plays a significant role in promoting and maintaining health and preventing disease. Major nutritional concerns related to obesity and chronic disease will be examined. Intervention strategies and skill development for addressing health and nutritional considerations and dietary requirements of individuals with developmental disabilities will be outlined.

SW2033 Crisis Intervention
This course is designed to provide students in the human services field with fundamental crisis theory that will serve as a basis for assessment, intervention and evaluating resolution of a crisis event. A six-step model of intervention is presented along with specific helping objectives in order to guide the student in the practice of crisis intervention. Recognizing that suicide risk often accompanies a crisis, students will learn to recognize suicide lethality, and acquire specific techniques involved in interrupting a suicide attempt. Ultimately, the intention of this course is to prepare the student to help turn the clients’ crisis (danger) into an opportunity for personal growth and development.

AA3004 Pharmacology Theory and Lab
This course will introduce students to the principles of pharmacology including the role medications play in restoring or maintaining health and provide the basic knowledge and skills required to safely administer medications in community workplaces. Given the ever expanding and changing nature of pharmaceuticals, only an overview of therapeutics will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on remaining current with medications and their actions and reactions in the body through life-long learning.

DS3101 Applied Practice in Developmental Services
Developmental Services Worker (DSW) students, as professionals in training, will plan, organize and implement person- directed activities that promote community participation and inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. By engaging with community partners, this learning experience will allow DSW students to deliver activities to selected groups of individuals with developmental disabilities. This experiential learning approach will be one of the most valuable components of the Developmental Services Worker Program

DS3103 Support Skills in Developmental Services
Within the context of current trends and issues, DSW students will examine evidence based practices in providing person- directed support services to people with developmental disabilities across their lifespan. The focus of this course will be on community membership and the promotion of inclusive activities related to vocational and career training, life skills management and recreation and leisure participation. The development of communication skills and appropriate social- sexual skills will be emphasized.

AA3063 Building Family Support
Building Family Supports is designed to introduce the students to the philosophy and practice of successfully engaging and working with families within a collaborative team approach in order to help family members achieve optimal positive outcomes through partnerships and trust. This course will introduce students to the myriad of service options and service coordination responsibilities involved in delivering human services to families in Ontario. Its purpose is to demystify practices such as accessing services, making referrals, treatment planning, case management and case conferencing as they apply to families. The student will explore several case studies in case conference services to illustrate each of the central tenets of the approach:
• A practice of unconditional care
• A focus on individual strengths
• A family-driven, family-strengths-focused process
• An individualized approach
• An emphasis on serving families within their communities
• A commitment to culturally competent care
• An emphasis on interagency collaboration
• A net result of cost-effectiveness, and
• An outcome-driven process

AA3053 Understanding the Family
This course is designed to familiarize students with the theoretical concepts related to understanding and working with contemporary Canadian families. The course focuses on exploring the reciprocal effects between families, children and adolescents. The course examines such topics as membership, roles, power, conflict, stress and transition. Students will explore and critique the value of System’s Theory for appraising family functioning and planning and implementing objectives and interventions. Much of the classroom discussions will focus on strategies helpful in engaging families in journeys of change. Students are encouraged to ponder their own Family and “Families of Origin” in order to extend their understanding of the concepts and to explore how their own experiences and beliefs affect their practices in human services.

DS3043 DSW Reflective Practice
Fieldwork placements provide a valuable opportunity for students to learn what it is like to work in their chosen field first hand. With provided guidance and supervision, this experiential learning opportunity allows students to practice and apply their theoretical knowledge and skills and to acquire the professional competency at an entry-level that is expected for a new college graduate. This course is designed to assist DSW students in preparing for fieldwork placement.

DS4001 Fieldwork Placement
Once all courses of academic study have been successfully completed, DSW students are eligible to be on a supervised fieldwork block placement during the fourth semester of the DSW program. The prescribed number of hours that DSW students must be on placement will be outlined within their Fieldwork Placement manual. Students must demonstrate achievement of vocational, generic and general education competencies that are expected of an entry level graduate as stated within the Program Standards for the DSW Program in Ontario.

EA2033 Introduction to Learning Technologies
This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of learning technologies that assist students with disabilities. Assistive technology refers to any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. With the support of assistive technology, individuals with disabilities discover they can have control over their environment, allowing them to develop a sense of competence and independence. Throughout this course, you will learn about assistive technology and will develop the skills and knowledge required to implement assistive technology in the educational setting.

EA1003 Education and the Role of the Assistant
This course provides students with an overview fo the educational services available in Ontario to persons with diverse learning needs from the primary to the secondary and post-secondary levels. Legislative Acts that influence the education of individuals with exceptionalities will also be examined. The role of the Educational Assistant will be studied to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to effectively carry out the duties and responsibilities that this position requires. Particular emphasis will be on pedagogical assistant skills such as teaching and tutorial skills.

EA4001 Fieldwork Placement
This fieldwork placement in a school setting will provide opportunities for students to gain practical experience in working with special needs students. The placement will also provide diverse opportunities for learning as well as personal growth.

AA3053 Understanding the Family
This course is designed to familiarize students with the theoretical concepts related to understanding and working with contemporary Canadian families. The course focuses on exploring the reciprocal effects between families, children and adolescents. The course examines such topics as membership, roles, power, conflict, stress and transition. Students will explore and critique the value of System’s Theory for appraising family functioning and planning and implementing objectives and interventions. Much of the classroom discussions will focus on strategies helpful in engaging families in journeys of change. Students are encouraged to ponder their own Family and “Families of Origin” in order to extend their understanding of the concepts and to explore how their own experiences and beliefs affect their practices in human services.

DS2000 FWP Orientation (50 Hours)
DSW students must accumulate 100 hours of volunteer service or work related experience with individuals with developmental disabilities in the first year of the program or have 100 hours volunteer/ co-op or work experience prior to entering this program. This orientation provides the DSW student with greater exposure and awareness of the support needs of individuals and families of the role and responsibilities of a direct support worker. DS1002 is the course code that will credit the DSW student with the remaining 50 hours of the 100 hours of Fieldwork Orientation.

DS4011 Fieldwork Seminar

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