Enhance the Lives of the Less Powerful and Become a Developmental Services Worker

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    Feb 12, 2014
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Enhance the Lives of the Less Powerful and Become a Developmental Services Worker Photo by Jason White

Previously seen as being powerless, people with disabilities have risen and became independent, through modern advancements and new technology. However, the disabilities vary and some individuals require some level of support. People with physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities require assistance from support workers, commonly referred to as Developmental Services Workers (DSW) Program in Toronto, who help them complete simple chores like shopping for groceries, to becoming a day-to-day support such as helping with the dressing and preparing dietary meals.

Students wishing to improve people's lives as a DSW must undergo higher education to understand these people and help them by being competent in planning and delivering several support functions. A two-year diploma from a community college satisfies the requirement, but an education from Centennial College enhances the experience with its all-encompassing curriculum, which includes a field placement for an on-the-job training session.

"(Students) learn about strategies to support people, such as teaching strategies, personal support, resources in the community, and impacting the impressions and the attitudes of the public positively about people with intellectual disabilities," describes Peg Jenner, Coordinator of Centennial's DSW program. Here are more learning outcomes from the program:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and clients by learning the process of communication and practicing proper communication in the Interpersonal Skills Development course
  • Become proactive when working with a variety of clients, by learning the different types of intellectual disabilities and having the knowledge to provide the proper care and services for each individual client
  • Understand the way people think, feel, and act through the Social Psychology course, which will help when dealing with sensitive matters uncertainty, which are common on the job
  • Develop skills for personal health care, such as hygiene care and vital signs assessment, where the knowledge learned from the classroom are demonstrated in an experiential laboratory setting
  • Coach and teach clients in educational settings, by learning teaching skills, including development of tailored lesson plans, and communicating and interacting with students with special needs
  • Ability to administer medications, by learning about the different types of drugs and their purpose and usage
  • Learn about Canada's social welfare systems and social policy, to better understand the situations of their clients and to offer recommendations and solutions in their field or work

Each course is interactive for students to become engaged in every lesson and gain an applied learning experience. Classwork includes research, report writing, projects, seminars, and community observations. Centennial teaches a plenty of knowledge through their qualified and experienced faculty.

Centennial graduates of the Developmental Services Workers program have successfully transitioned to the working world, into diverse positions in the DSW working field. Many directly became a DSW or related support personnel, while others became Educational Assistants in schools and community centres.

Author's Profile

Jason White writes about the different knowledge and skills learned by students in the Developmental Services Workers program in Centennial College.

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