Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM)
Columbia, along with Goodwill, are celebrating DEAM for the month of October.
Please take a moment to watch these short clips to get an idea of the importance of Inclusive communities and a diverse workforce:
Community Support Services Department
Employment Services are designed to accommodate the unique occupational interests of each student. As such, employment options are numerous. Previous graduates have secured employment in a variety of fields including: food services, janitorial, childcare, manufacturing, retail, automotive, laundry, pet care and office support.
The Community Support Services Department provides Community Access and Employment Services for adults with developmental disabilities to facilitate their inclusion in the community as valued, participating and contributing members.
- Employment Services support each student in securing and maintaining competitive, independent employment as per his/her field of interest and capabilities.
- Courses taught prepare students for the workforce.
- Services offered include: employment preparation classes, work experience placements, job coaching and extensive long-term follow-up support.
- Work experience placements assist students in skill development, refining their vocational interests and marketing themselves to potential employers.
- Employment Services are individualized to accommodate the unique occupational interests of each student providing exciting employment options.
- Staff provides on-site support to the students and their employers until it is determined that this support is no longer required.
Community Access Services
- Support students in becoming valued members of the community through inclusive opportunities in social activities, education, recreation, community association, community resources and volunteerism.
- These services are of particular benefit for those students who have personal goals that are not related to employment or for those students, who are currently employed, but desire a more fulfilling and balanced lifestyle.
- The goal is to develop community support networks in order to facilitate the student’s ability to participate in these activities, independent of paid supports.
- Through person-centered planning, students choose meaningful and personally fulfilling activities that are in harmony with their individual lifestyles, goals and interests.
- The focus of this service is in creating community connections. Once activities are chosen, our staff provides ongoing community-based support to assist each student in realizing his/her goals.
- Schedules are specific to each student, with day-to-day activities varying from week to week, depending on individual needs, goals and interests. Schedules and activities are reviewed and modified by the student and his/her team on a regular basis. Columbia College is utilized as a meeting place, for extra support and for group or classroom-based activities.
Course List and Descriptions
For the course list and descriptions for this program, please click here.
Through work experience placements students gain exposure to the work world and develop marketable skills in real work environments. This hands-on experience enables students to learn by doing and get practice relating classroom instruction to an actual work situation. Work Experience is also a very effective means by which students are able to market themselves to potential employers for competitive, independent employment.
The Community Support Services Department provides services for adults with developmental disabilities. Students must meet eligibility criteria for funding as established by Alberta Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program, Calgary Region. In addition to meeting Alberta Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program, Calgary Region eligibility requirements, our intake staff evaluates each student in light of our capacity to provide a sufficient level of support.
Employment and Community Access Services are funded by the Alberta Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program, Calgary Region. Most student fees are covered through this funding, however, students in the Community Access Services must pay for their own program expenses such as entrance fees and activity costs.
Students are accepted into these programs on a continuous intake basis as space permits.
70% of individuals who enter the Employment Program secure competitive independent employment.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Services
When can I start receiving services?
First you must determine if you are eligible for funding from Alberta Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program, Calgary Region. Next you would meet with a representative of Columbia College to discuss your goals and determine if they can be achieved through our services. Finally Columbia College will complete an individual Funding Application with you and forward this to Alberta Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program, Calgary Region for approval. Once approved for funding you can start receiving services as per indicated by your Funding Approval letter from Alberta Human Services, Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program, Calgary Region.
What type of job can your service help me secure?
Employment Services work with each individual to help them reach their specific employment goals. Our staff asks each student to provide a minimum of three ideas regarding the types of employment that are of interest to them. Once this is determined, our staff supports each student on a one-on-one basis to secure and maintain opportunities that will help meet their aspirations.
How long will it take for me to get a job?
On average it will take one to two months to prepare a student for competitive employment. There are however a number of factors that may impact how quickly an individual is placed including: 1) how motivated the student is to work; 2) the barrier(s) facing the student in finding and keeping a job; 3) the state of the economy; 4) the degree of flexibility that the student has in terms of their employment choices; 5) how common or uncommon the specific position is.
How will I be supported at my place of employment?
Once a student is competitively employed, our staff will provide intensive supports during the initial phase of the placement. As our student and their employer become more confident in the placement, our staff will gradually fade their level of supports. When appropriate, our staff will completely withdraw their supports. At this point the employer and the student’s coworkers will provide whatever supports are required, just as they would for anyone else employed in that environment.
Can you help me secure a volunteer placement?
Community Access students who are not able to work or not interested in paid employment can participate in volunteer opportunities of their choosing through the non-profit and not for profit sector. Volunteer placements enable students to be included in the community as valued, participating and contributing members.
Can I go into both services?
Each individual can apply for both services as schedules for the Community Access service are flexible and can be tailored to meet individual needs, i.e. evening and weekend activities.
Click here to access the Community Access Services Application Form.
Click here to access the Employment Services Application Form.
- Lectures 1
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Certificate No
- Assessments Self