Developmental Services Worker


Ontario College Diploma

Area Of Interest

Community Services


2 years

Program Code



Start Dates & Ontario Colleges Program Codes:
Fall Start (September): 0139
Fall Start (September) - Accelerated program: 0162

Helping People Reach Their Potential – and Go Beyond

Do you love to work with people and want career options in your future? Do you hope to make a difference in the world? Supporting people living with a disability, such as Autism or Down Syndrome, is a great way to do just that.

Confederation College’s Developmental Services Worker program will give you the skills and experience you need to support individuals in living their life to the fullest. Coursework includes study in developmental disabilities, teaching strategies, health promotion, augmentative communication and assistive technology, pharmacology, dual diagnosis, trends and issues, behavioural supports, counselling skills and community development. If you believe in inclusion, individualization and empowerment for all people in our community, this program is for you!

Top Highlights

  • Program includes two field placements so that you can learn in real-world environments
  • Gives you the knowledge and skills that you need to support people to reach their full potential
  • Practice knowledge and skills in a lab setting and plan real community events with schools and agencies
  • Also offered as an accelerated program for those with a college diploma in a community services program or those with a degree in a related field


Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. conduct oneself in an ethical, competent and accountable manner in all professional relationships.
  2. provide person-directed supports and services that respect and promote self-determination for people with developmental disabilities.
  3. provide for the safety of people with developmental disabilities, self and others in compliance with all applicable legislation, regulations and standards of practice.
  4. support health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities.
  5. employ and adapt formal and informal strategies to support the learning of people with developmental disabilities.
  6. provide leadership in the development of inclusive communities.
  7. develop professional and personal plans that enhance job performance and well-being.
Confederation is a renowned Canadian college and provides a platform to grow professionally and personally. It offered g ood programs & supportive...
Sinchu Susan Thomas (from India)
Student 2018/19
I researched the programs and courses offered by Confederation College which inspired me to apply to the DSW program. What I Liked Most About...
Sanjay Modhavadiya
Student 2018/19
Thunder Bay is the perfect place for an immigrant family trying to succeed in Canada. From their open-minded people to their beautiful lands, Thunder...
Lisbeth Espinoza (from Ecuador)
Student Support Professional
As Winnie the Pooh used to say: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” ... yet it is so true with me and the DSW program...
Duc Ngo (from Vietnam)
Student 2018/19
My journey as a DSW student at Confederation College was awesome. My professors helped me to improve myself. I grew not only as a better student, but...
Sandra George (from India)
The Developmental Services Worker Program thoroughly prepared me to support individuals in the education system. Through current course material and...
Rose Hankkio
Integration Facilitator in the Community Integration through Cooperative Education Program (CICE)
I've met great people whether it's students, staff, people from different organizations in the community. I love the team atmosphere of the work...
Nick Falcetta
My two years in the DSW program at Confederation College were among the best years of my life. Combining the theory and practical learning allowed me...
Kerri-Lee Turcotte
CICE Community Integration Through Cooperative Education
I greatly valued the congenial environment/atmosphere within the Developmental Services Worker program at Confederation College. The faculty members...
Bailey Langford
now pursuing my Honors Bachelor of Social Work at Lakehead University

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of the Developmental Services Worker go on to support people with disabilities across the lifespan. They find positions in a variety of settings in Thunder Bay and region, including: Avenue II, Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario, City of Thunder Bay Recreation & Culture Division Inclusion Services, Community Living Thunder Bay, Dilico, OPTIONS northwest, Lakehead Public Schools, Superior Greenstone Association for Community Living, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, and more.

Roles include Student Support Professional, Employment Support Specialist, Residential/Community Support Worker, Independent Contractor, Advocate, Family Support Worker and others.

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Julie Zdep

Program Coordinator
(807) 475-6345

Contact our Recruitment Team