Developmental Services Worker Program Train for Variety of Roles

  • Added:
    Aug 05, 2014
  • Article Views:
  • Word Count:
Developmental Services Worker Program Train for Variety of Roles Photo by Jason White

It is essential that we build a society in which everyone plays a role and no one is excluded. The challenge for the professionals who work and support people of all ages with developmental or intellectual disabilities is to enhance their clients’ presence and participation in their community. It’s not surprise then that these professionals work in a range of areas, among which are:

  • In-home, supporting individuals who are considered "higher functioning" so that they may remain independent
  • In-home, supporting families of those with developmental delay by offering respite
  • In community organizations as residential counsellors who help their clients enjoy various activities
  • In schools with students who may need educational assistance
  • With not-for-profit organizations that cater to individuals with developmental disabilities
  • In the residential programs of long-term care facilities as activation directors

Before they can enter the field, aspiring developmental services workers program must attend a post-secondary program. Centennial College offers one such program to those who are interested in a curriculum that emphasizes a deep understanding of the life experiences of people who have intellectual disabilities, values clarification, analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, affecting positive change, and communication skills.

The most unique aspect of this offering is its emphasis and focus on proactive learning that includes a range of hands-on activities to teach students the skills they will need once they graduate and are ready to apply for jobs in the field. This interactive approach is facilitated both on and off campus. In classes, it is employed through projects that included research about new therapies and the history of disability, interactive seminars, community observations, Internet searches that teach students how to research the field, teamwork and electronic communication. Through these activities students learn topics such as: interpersonal skills, the nature of intellectual disability, health promotion and personal well-being, social psychology, support for personal healthcare, facilitation and leadership skills, teaching skills and more.

Meanwhile, for the off-campus component, students have the opportunity to complete supervised field placements in semester three (two days per week) and semester four (three days per week). In the first field placement, students use the theory of Social Role Valorization to frame and understand the role of supporter. They become familiar with an understanding of: clients’ life experiences, the limits society has imposed on their opportunities, clients’ relationships, listening clients and the people in their lives, and tending to clients’ interests. Students take direction from the people they support to establish or enhance valued social roles in their life.

In the second placement, meanwhile, students take responsibility for designing and implementing plans or strategies to teach and support individuals and/or work with communities. Facilitation and leadership skills, community development and, positive imagining and competencies for holistic the personal well-being and community inclusion for individuals they support are some of the areas they pursue in this placement.

Author's Profile

The author of this Developmental Services Worker program, places a large emphasis on documenting the interactive aspects of this offering. He includes detailed information on the two field placements that students enjoy.

Please Rate this Article
Poor Excellent