Dominion College offers an accelerated Developmental Service Worker (DSW) program for one year. Our DSW courses will equip the student with the skills to:
- Provide a range of support to people with developmental disabilities (Mental & Physical)
- Help those with special needs to integrate into the community
- Provide sign language to help people with communication problems
- Provide students with wide range of counseling skills drawn from the classroom, workshops and conferences
DSW are employed in:
- Nursing Homes
- Group Homes
- Educational Setting (Primary School)
To successfully complete the program, the student would have completed 25 modules and 3 clinical placements in schools, with seniors and in home/community. The total hours for the placement is 600 hours (200 hours for each), and the average pass mark is 70%.
DSW 1000: Understanding Human Behavior (40 Hours)
In DSW 1000, the students will gain knowledge of the biological, psycho-social and sociocultural factors which shape adaptive and maladaptive behavior. The course will highlight on the various forces which shape personality development.
DSW 1001: Introduction to Developmental Disabilities 1 (30 Hours)
In DSW 1001, the students will be able to examine the broad field of developmental disabilities including intellectual, physical and learning disabilities. The students will also look into the historical perspective and new attitudes, the causes and approaches to prevention, and new ways of preventing the growth and empowerment of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families and the development of inclusive communities.
DSW 1004: Human Growth & Development 1 (30 Hours)
In DSW 1004, the students will be introduced into the developmental process that occurs from fertilization to adolescence. The main focus will be on normal development, but some emphasis will be placed on physical, developmental and learning disabilities. The student will also explore the cognitive, physical, social and emotional aspects of development.
DSW 1005: Personal-Centered Planning (30 Hours)
In DSW 1005, the student will be presented the underlying philosophy and basic components of a planning process that will provide coordinated, comprehensive and effective support to people with developmental disabilities.
DSW 1006: Educational Strategies (20 Hours)
DSW 1006 will assist the students in developing the skills and techniques for facilitating learning in students with developmental, physical and/or learning disabilities. Effective teaching methods and strategies for increasing chances of success for the student will be presented throughout the course.
DSW 1007: Responding to Abuse (30 Hours)
DSW 1007 will help the student in exploring the nature of abuse towards people of all ages in our society. It will also bring to the awareness of the student the vulnerability of people with developmental and/or physical disabilities to abuse. The course will also highlight the approaches in preventing and the response to abuse towards this group.
This course will also focus on family violence, spousal, children and elderly abuses; it will also address the increasing commitment in dealing with abuse
DSW 2000: Developing Interpersonal Skills (20 Hours)
DSW 2000 is designed to introduce students to the theories and concepts that apply to interpersonal communication. The course will enhance development of effective situations.
DSW 2001: Intervention Techniques 1 (30 Hours)
DSW 2001 introduces the students to general introduction to the principles of behavior management. It will provide the students an overview of theory, plus the major concepts related to positive behavioral approaches. It will also emphasize the ethical utilization of behavioral techniques to enhance the probability that people with developmental handicaps will develop effective behaviors that are personally fulfilling, productive and socially acceptable.
COMM 2002: Communication Skills (20 Hours)
DSW 2002 is designed to enhance the students’ communication skills in a diverse environment like Canada. It will address ways to therapeutically communicate with people who have developmental disabilities. It will also focus on communication blockades and communication enhancers.
DSW 2003: Human Growth & Development 2 (40 Hours)
DSW 2003 will introduce the student to the developmental issues from puberty to adulthood and the process of aging and death. It is concerned with the normal and abnormal human growth and development. It will also focus on the study of the growth, behavior, and development of mental, physical, social and emotional aspect of human growth and development. It will look into the maturation of the individual during the life span from adolescence to adulthood
DSW 2004: Introduction to Developmental disabilities 2 (40 Hours)
DSW 2004 will enlighten the students’ ways of promoting the growth and empowerment of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, and the development of inclusive communities
DSW 2005: Abnormal Psychology/Dual Diagnosis (40 Hours)
In DSW 2005, students will learn about dual diagnosis—the coexistence of a developmental disability and a mental illness. Topics will include the prevalence of dual diagnosis, why people with developmental disabilities are vulnerable to mental illness, issues in diagnosis, symptoms presentation in several key mental illnesses and conducting comprehensive assessments. The course will also emphasize on teaching skills that can be used to effectively support people with dual diagnosis on a day-today basis
DSW 2006: Safe Management and Crisis Prevention and Intervention (30 Hours)
DSW 2006 will highlight the importance of safety for the client and the individual providing support for the client. The course will emphasize risk management, aggression management, behavior management, relationship management and physical intervention techniques to de-escalate them when they become aggressive.
DSW 2007 Generic Skill (30 hours)
Professionals within the human service sector need basic mathematics and analytical thinking skills for effective problem solving. Learners will be expected to prepare for each class, actively participate during class, complete course assignments for accumulative learning, and attend and participate in study session (as needed) outside of regular class time
DSW 2008: Human Sexuality (30 Hours)
DSW 2008 will examine the impact of biological, psychological and sociocultural forces on human sexual behavior. The course will also emphasize the development and expression of sexuality in persons with developmental delay.
DSW 2009: Basic Pharmacology 1 (30 Hours)
DSW 2009 will present an introductory overview of drug therapy and the role of the DSW in the administration of medications. It will also provide students with a foundation of knowledge about medications that can be supplemented throughout their professional lives. Medications used for the integumentary, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system’s disease and disorders will be examined in more detail.
DSW 2010: Health & Wellness 1 (30 Hours)
DSW 2010 will introduce students to the relationship of health and wellness to the role of the developmental Services Worker. It introduces students to the factors that affect health and wellness and how each factor overlaps each other. Students will also appreciate the mental health continuum and the interaction of the whole or holistic person with health and wellness.
DSW 3000: Intervention Techniques 2 (30 Hours)
DSW 3000 will build upon the general principles of behavior management techniques which were introduced in DSW 2001. The emphasis will be upon the utilization of positive behavioral approaches specifically with people who have developmental disabilities. There will be a focus on conducting functional assessments and developing programmes which will enhance the quality of life of these individuals. There will also be a review of specific behavioral topics that are connected to developmental disabilities. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on supporting individuals to accomplish their goals, while assisting them to attain socially acceptable behaviors.
DSW 3001: Community Living (30 Hours)
DSW 3001 will explore the unique and generic role in the human service delivery system. The professional ethics, decision-making, problem solving and strategies required in order to empower people with developmental challenges (of different cultural backgrounds) and their families in today’s community will be addressed. In fulfilling this role, effective participation as an agency employee, team member, supervisor and as a member of either management or a labor union is examined as basic to the DSW’s professional identification and effective service delivery.
DSW 3002: Counseling Skills (30 Hours)
DSW 3002 will help the students acquire the skills that are necessary to be an effective helper. Students will study and practice a number of counseling methods. Some of the counseling to be studied includes the following: The helping Profession, The helping Relationship, Attending to Clients, Communicate Patterns in the Helping Process, Managing the Helping Session, Responding to Cognitive Content, Responding to Affective Content, Conceptualizing Issues and setting goals, Using Integrative Helping Strategies and Intervention and Common Challenges for Beginning Helpers.
DSW 3003: Basic Pharmacology 2 (20 Hours)
DSW 3003 will presents the students with an overview of drug therapy and provides students with a basic working knowledge of specific medications (e.g., for respiratory, gastrointestinal, muscular and central nervous system diseases). Students can supplement this knowledge throughout their professional lives.
DSW 3004: Health & Wellness 2 (30 Hours)
DSW 3004 will introduce the students to specific body systems with special emphasis on disorders associated with each. Students will also appreciate the interaction of the mind, the body, and the spirit of the people they support in general health promotion and illness prevention. The course will also introduce students to physical management strategies and techniques related to life skills for those with physical exceptionalities. This will include techniques used for handling, positioning, dressing, feeding, toileting and managing equipment and wheelchairs.
DSW 3005: Sign Language & Augmentative Communication (30 Hours)
DSW 3005 is designed to introduce the students to the basics of American Sign Language (ASL) and Augmentative Communication. To facilitate people with developmental disabilities self determination/autonomy, the students will learn ASL skills and Augmentative Communication options appropriate for communication. Students will learn how learn how to design and implement visual tools using Augmentative Communication within Developmental Service settings.
DSW 4000: Integrative Seminar (30 Hours)
DSW 4000 will provide students with an opportunity to integrate theoretical concepts and practical experiences within a supportive environment. There will be opportunities to discuss relevant issues, methodologies, and to develop problem-solving models. Students’ experiences, in a variety of different settings, will be examined and issues such as the role of the Developmental Services Worker, crisis management, race relations and legal issues will be discussed. In the debriefing process, students will practice problem solving and methods of achieving results relating to such issues.
DSW 5000 — Home/Community Practicum (200 Hours)
This course will provide students with the opportunity to apply their theory in supporting individuals, their families and friends. Students will utilize inclusion in facilitate growth and empowerment of these individuals and their families. Possible placements could include family support, group home,
DSW 6000 — Education/Employment Support Practicum (200 Hours)
This course will provide the students with a learning experience in an educational setting such as pre-school, primary or secondary school, adult developmental program
DSW 7000 – Life Skills/Seniors Practicum (200 Hours)
This course will provide students with the opportunity to work with and support people with developmental disabilities. The sensory impairments (hearing, vision, speech) and physical/emotional/neurological impairments will be addressed in relation to life skills training and support.
Community Orientation (30 Hours)
This course introduces students to a wide variety of formal and informal community support services that work together to enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Methods of researching and assessing services are addressed. It also introduces the competencies involved in successfully fulfilling the role of D.S.W. and encourages students to identify with and demonstrate professional ethics and behavior. Strong emphasis will be placed on the development of the student’s skills in working effectively within a group. Information gathered regarding community support services will also enhance the student’s awareness of possible placement opportunities. This course will prepare the students for their field placement experiences. This course is a prerequisite for all field placements (DSW 5000, DSW 6000 & DSW 7000).