Program Information

Interested in applying to this program? We will pay for your application fee - book a program advising appointment to learn how.

The core values and beliefs behind the role of a developmental services worker include: service, social justice, empowerment, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. A commitment to these values guides the developmental services worker's behaviour in terms of his/her ethical responsibilities to individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, colleagues, and to his/her own professional competence.

Developmental services workers use leadership qualities and creative problem solving to facilitate natural supports, generic services, self-reliant decision making, and personal control for individuals of all ages who have a range of developmental and/or physical disabilities or mental disorders and their families in various work and community environments. Graduates recognize that barriers exist for people with challenges and that they have a role in facilitating the removal of such barriers.

Graduates recognize the interaction of the mind, the body, and the spirit in general health promotion and provide information to individuals to facilitate the setting and reaching of personal health goals. Through rich experiential learning opportunities, graduates acquire skills and knowledge relating to specific health concerns in their work environment. In addition, graduates respond to health-related issues by applying their skills and knowledge from required program courses.

See Course List

Admission Requirements

O.S.S.D or equivalent with:

  • Grade 12 English C or U

Mature Student Assessment for this program is available in the subject of English for the purpose of demonstrating proficiency in this required admission subject. For all other admission requirements, applicants must complete the required course(s) as listed above. For more information, please contact Review the Mature Student Admission process

Academic admission requirements can be obtained through Academic Upgrading and the Pre-Programs at Lambton College.

Technology Requirements

In order to keep pace with the requirements of each and every course in your program, Lambton College recommends that each student have access to a laptop while studying at our college.

Course List

DSW-1273: Dual Diagnosis

This hybrid course examines the information, issues and concerns regarding dual diagnosis - the co-existence of a developmental disability and a mental health problem. The student will gain an understanding of how to recognize and support individuals who are living with a dual diagnosis. The emphasis is on acquiring knowledge and skills that professionals require to help understand and better support these individuals in multiple settings.

DSW-1203: Developmental Disabilities and Aging

This mobile course introduces the students to the issues facing the aging population of individuals with developmental disabilities as well as the service and activation needs that are and will be required.

DSW-1213: Health I – Health Maintenance

This mobile course introduces the learner to a pertinent knowledge of anatomy, physiology, health and wellness. The course will provide the learner with an overview of basic health problems his/her client may experience. Basic techniques and skills will be discussed, demonstrated and practiced.

DSW-1223: Professionalism I – Ethics and Professionalism

This mobile course introduces the students to ethical and professional issues of working in a profession where, often time, limited resources result in being faced with ethical and moral issues; which, can apply to people who have developmental disabilities. The students will gain insight into their own lives as professionals and develop personal coping skills to assist them in personal and professional lives.

DSW-1233: Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities

This mobile course introduces an overview of developmental disabilities, services and supports. Students will examine key issues such as inclusion, integration, empowerment, advocacy and interdependence; and gain knowledge of what Person Centred Planning is, how it effectively results in promoting community contribution, and the development of natural, meaningful relationships. The students will also learn how our current systems have evolved by examining earlier eras in history. Ethical issues such as deinstitutionalisation, euthanasia, sterilization, sex and sexuality, parenting and punitive measures will be discussed, as will current laws and legislations which have been put into place to protect people with developmental disabilities.

COM-1013: Critical Thinking and Writing

In this writing course, students respond to current issues and news articles via various styles of paragraphs and essays. Students strive for clarity of message and diplomatic expression of opinion based on fact. Students practice thinking critically and organize and hone their writing to ensure clarity and correctness in their messages. Critical Thinking and Writing lays the foundation for a subsequent research-writing course.

DSW-1253: Developmental Disabilities

In this mobile course, the student will research a variety of syndromes and associated disabilities. In addition, the student will gain awareness of the environmental and genetic causes, signs, symptoms and possible prevention of developmental disabilities. With this information, the student will be encouraged to explore ways to enhance the quality of life for these individuals that they support.

DSW-1263: Supporting People with Complex Needs

This hybrid course will focus on developing strategies to enhance the quality of life for people with complex needs, including people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. People with complex needs often require a multi-disciplinary approach to supports for daily living, with a particular emphasis in the area of communication. Various forms of augmentative communication, sensory and physical supports will be examined in an attempt to better support people who have receptive and or expressive communication differences. Students will employ a combination of in-class discussion, lab and collaborative work, in conjunction with on-line lectures and discussion forum, to achieve the learning objectives.

HGD-1013: Human Growth and Development

Using a developmental psychology lens this course focuses on providing students with an opportunity to improve understanding of self. Through personal reflection students will examine the human lifespan from conception and prenatal development through old age and death. Students will gain understanding and perspective of their development across physical, cognitive, social and personality contexts. Examination of fundamental theories, historical arguments/perspectives and current issues provide opportunity for critical thinking and application of influences to one's development within the student's life.

DSW-2053: Pharmacology

This course introduces the student to the role and responsibilities in medication administration. It provides a foundation in the study of pharmacology. It includes strategies to promote safe administration of medications and an overview of major drug groups and their effect on the human body.

DSW-2044: Teaching Strategies

In this course, students will become familiar with the types and processes of assessments available to persons with developmental disabilities, as well as the factors affecting assessments. Students will study topics such as developing personal profiles, goal setting and developing instructional strategies in order to support a person with developmental disabilities in his/her learning.

DSW-2013: Health II – Health and Wellness

This mobile course introduces the learner to continued knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and health and wellness from DSW 1213. This course focuses on the principles and practices of health and wellness as they are applied in the care of the adult and pediatric population. Guided practice in a laboratory setting provides students with an opportunity to apply theory at a beginning level in a simulated workplace environment.

DSW-2023: Behaviour Management

This course will provide the student with a variety of applied behavioural analysis techniques and practical strategies used to modify behaviour in an environment that is the least restrictive. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills to support people with developmental disabilities requiring behavioural interventions in ways which respect their dignity and decision-making abilities.

DSW-2033: Developing Skills of a Helping Professional

This mobile course is designed to provide the student with the introductory counselling skills of a helping professional. The course is largely experiential; therefore, attendance and active participation are essential. By examining the three stage skilled-helper model, students will gain an understanding of the interpersonal skills required for effective communication. In-class labs will afford the student with the practice necessary to prepare for a final video-taped helping session.

DSWF-2034: Field Placement I

In the Developmental Disabilities Certificate Program (DDCP) and the Developmental Services Worker Program (DSWP), students acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to support people with developmental disabilities. The field placement component of the DDC & DSW programs gives the student the opportunity to put to practical use the theory and skills learned in classroom study. It is designed to provide learning experiences to enable the student to develop professional competence, sound work habits, effective interpersonal communication and teamwork skills required to successfully support people with developmental disabilities.

DSW-3012: Person Centred Planning

Students will delve deeper into the task of Person Centred Planning and through practice, learn how it effectively results in promoting community presence and participation as well as the development of natural, meaningful relationships. Students will use this knowledge to empower the people they support to plan and achieve their own personal goals in order to improve their quality of life.

DSW-3023: Small Group Counselling

Using the helping skills previously learned in Developing Skills of a Helping Professional, students will practice effective communication and facilitation as it applies to small group counselling sessions. Students will both facilitate and participate in mock small group counselling sessions.

DSWF-3035: Field Placement II

The second field placement component of the DSW program gives the student the opportunity to apply the theory and skills learned in classroom into practice. It is designed to provide learning experiences to enable the student to develop professional competence, sound work habits, effective interpersonal communication and teamwork skills required to successfully support people with developmental disabilities. The student will complete approximately 245 hours of field work.

SOC-3103: Sociology of Family Life

The course focuses on arguably the most important institution in social life, "the family". Everyone has been part of a family at some point in their life, however, what that family looked like or how it acted varied from person to person, time to time and place to place. A sociological analysis of family illustrates that family is not static, but yet a complex and ever changing institution that is affected by and affects all other parts of human life. This course will provide you with the tools to critically evaluate 'common-sense' understandings of the family and political debates surrounding contemporary family life. We will address sociological research on a number of issues including historical and cross-cultural perspectives on family life, parenthood, divorce, family violence, contemporary trends in family life, and diversity in families.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

Program Maps

Current Students

Current students can view program maps from previous years on the mylambton website. 

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Employment Opportunities

Our graduates pursue a wide range of opportunities including community support worker, job coach, in-home respite care, educational assistant, classroom assistant in a daycare centre, activation aide in a seniors’ program, teaching assistant, adult protective service worker and residential support worker.

Health, Community Services & Creative Design


Program Information

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