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External Consultants

The following consultants have experience working with the developmental disability and community rehabilitation communities within Alberta on a variety of special projects. Some specialize in activities such as plain language, meeting facilitation, training, research or evaluation. Others provide a wide range of organizational supports. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting

Contact: Kathleen Biersdorff, Ph.D.
23 Harvest Oak Gr. NE, Calgary, AB T3K 3Y2
Phone: (403) 226-0585; Fax: (403) 920-0586
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: 

Kathleen provides a broad range of services to promote organizational excellence and innovation in the business, non-profit and public sectors. These services include research, writing and editing, public relations, staff development seminars, course development and trainer mentoring, strategic planning and meeting facilitation, policy development and human resource support. Kathleen has over 30 years of experience in research and communication with a variety of stakeholders from people with intellectual disabilities to policy-makers. 


Center Point Facilitation

Contact: Tammy Ouellette, HSA Associate

PO Box 21404
Grande Prairie, AB T8V 6W7
Phone: (780) 296-0223
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Centerpoint Facilitation Inc. specializes in training, facilitation and consultation. We work with businesses and individuals using person centered approaches to increase productivity and quality of life in the workplace and at home.

Professional Development & Workshops

  • Team Building
  • positive & Productive Meetings
  • Person Centered Supervision


  • Visioning & Strategic Planning
  • Organizational Retreats
  • Community Consultation

Direct Planning in Person-Centered Approaches for:

  • Older people
  • People with short or long-term health issues
  • End of life planning
  • People with developmental disabilities
  • Any life situation in which planning and support is required

For Person Centered Workshops or other facilitating services, please contact Tammy Ouellette.

CLR Consultants Inc.

Since 1998, CLR Consultants has been providing website and learning solutions to organizations that serve people with disabilities. The Company maintains relationships with a diverse group of external consultants, from both academia and industry. This ensures a uniformly high level of competence is available when providing the following learning solutions and other services.

  Curriculum design  
  Course creation  
  Mobile learning Rapid course creation
  Course conversion Localization
  Blended learning Instructor-led training
  LMS & learning portals Moodle

Focused Leadership Group Ltd.

Contact:  Brad Kotowich, Principal

Office:  (780) 417-3037

Cell: (780) 983-4965

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brad continues to enjoy a strong connection to the field of Disability Services (since 1997) providing senior leadership, training and consultation services to more than 45 organizations across Alberta and  Saskatchewan.   Based in Sherwood Park, Focused Leadership Group Ltd. was established in 2004 and works with organizations across all sectors.  With a wide array of tools, knowledge and exemplary practices from numerous clientele, Agencies in the Disability Services Sector can benefit from the following services (but not limited to):

  • Leadership Development & Coaching
  • Foundations of Leadership ( 3-day intensive course) targeting Practitioner level staff all the way to Executive Directors
  • Planning Strategically
  • Team Development (experiential and classroom)
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Change Facilitation
  • Retreat & Process Facilitation
  • Organizational reviews
  • Human Resource support

Brad has been a featured presenter at the ACDS Spring Conference for several years as well as SARC’s Annual Conference. 


Contact:  Louise Meier, CTDP, CD

Office:  (780) 569-4303

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Louise joined Focused Leadership Group in 2016 as the Sr. Associate Trainer.  She has a long connection and history in the disability field, having over 15 years of involvement in the Grande Prairie area.  As a certified training professional, she has used her expertise to assist with board development, as well as industry, the military, and multiple other not for profit organizations and sectors to close gaps in their training and development requirements. 

Her specialties include, although go beyond:

  • Team Building
  • Planning Strategically/Best Year YetTM
  • Coaching & Supervision
  • Work Cultural Transformations
  • Customer Service
  • Employee Engagement
  • Destressing
  • Workplance and Generational Respect

Gateway Association

Gateway Association is an organization that works with individuals who have developmental disabilities as well as their families. Gateway envisions a community where all children grow within a family; all children learn together in neighborhood schools; all adults work at real jobs in the community; all adults will have a real home and real friends; and all people are valued, contributing members of their communities.

Mission: Gateway is a family resource centre that provides education, family support and mentorship. It is our mission to assist the community to understand intellectual disabilities. Vision: Having an intellectual disability doesn’t define or limit who you are. All individuals can live, work, love and play as valued and respected members of a community

Family Support
Helping families by providing them with the information they need to support their loved ones who live with an intellectual disability

Families moving forward together one step at a time.

Education and Awareness
Empowering families with knowledge so they can help their loved ones achieve authentic lives.

We Belong is a unique approach to employment. Our job is to learn about a business, identify its needs, and fill those needs in creative ways. Our goal is to find businesses a good employee — someone who will bring value to the business with his or her skills and passion, enhance workplace culture, and contribute to the bottom line. Explore inclusive hiring.

Chris MacFarlane, Ph.D.

Contact: Chris MacFarlane
Possberg & Associates Ltd.
112 Hawkfield Cr. NW, Calgary, AB T3G 1Z5
Phone: (403) 241-2220
Cell: (403) 554-7220
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Naslund Consulting Group

Contact: Karin Naslund
Box 1887, Camrose, Alberta T4V 1X8
Phone: 780. 373.2114
Fax: 780.373.2113
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web sites: NCG 

Karin worked 15 years as an executive director of an organization serving people with developmental disabilities. NCG provides a variety of services including facilitation of meetings and planning retreats, organizational support and development (organization reviews, surveys, human resources, conflict resolution, etc), and training. Our training courses are offered across Alberta and Saskatchewan, and we also tailor them to meet specific organizational needs. Our signature courses are The Great Supervision training series (developed by Paula MacLean) and leadership development.


Contact: VECOVA
3304 - 33 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2L 2A6
Phone: (403) 284-1121; Fax: (403) 289-6427
Web site:

The VECOVA Research Department works in partnership with the community on projects that enhance the lives of people with disabilities and the services that support them. Their work includes exploring cutting-edge practices in order to implement new service directions, program evaluation and plain language translation, to name but a few. VECOVA is affiliated with the University of Calgary.



ACDS Print & Digital

Complex Needs Booklets - Free

Complex Booklet Image



What is Risk

Crisis Intervention

 What is a Functional Assessment

 What Are Positive Behaviour Support Plans?

Intercultural Intelligence Handbook

Building a Skilled Workforce Through Essential Skills

This handbook is a result of the Building a Skilled Workforce Through Essential Skills project funded by the Government of Alberta. The Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES) is leading this project in partnership with the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS).

The project purpose is to develop organizational capacity in the disability services sector, through training and Workplace Essential Skills (WES) development, to increase the engagement and effectiveness of a diverse workforce.

View the Intercultural Intelligence Handbook

Safe Bathing and Showering Training Manual and Video

The manuals and videos were developed by the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) to ensure that frontline staff and their Supervisors and Managers have the knowledge, skills and support they need to keep people safe while bathing and showering. Every effort was made to accommodate the needs of various licensing requirements across the province of Alberta.

This toolkit includes:

  1. Training Manual and Video (14:06) for Frontline staff
  2. Training Manual and Video (12:59) for Supervisors and Managers
  3. Certificate
  4. Final test
  5. Answer key
  6. Laminate Card for posting

Click to view a short promotional video.

Order Form - ACDS Products

Staff Safety Toolkit - Free

This toolkit was developed to build the capacity of organizations around the safety of staff. It includes guiding principles based on current best practices in safety training and a framework for sharing key information. The Toolkit looks at staff safety from the three perspectives, other people, place and self. Developed for use by those responsible for in-house training and supervision, and will address the four key elements of motivation, reinforcement, retention and transference to day to day work. The tools will be designed to encourage frontline staff to take an active and cognitive approach to learning that will enable them to identify potential risks, reconcile, experiences and reflect on the core values needed to be safe and successful in their work. The focus is on providing consistent messaging and the sharing useful strategies and resources. This is a living document.

View the Staff Safety Toolkit

Boland Report - ACDS Survey of Salaries and Selected Human Resource Practices

Nurturing Diversity and Promoting Inclusive Workplaces

Diversity management is an ongoing process of organizational development that involves everyone within an organization. The Nurturing Diversity and Promoting Inclusive Workplaces manual provides a framework and tools that your organization can use as a reference when developing a diversity management process that fits your specific organizational needs.

Order Form - ACDS Products

Workforce Classification System Manual

The Workforce Classification System is a critical tool for service providers to identify the current and future competencies of staff working in the Community Disability Services sector. It provides consistency in job expectations across the province supports the goal of establishing ourselves as "a professional workforce" and promotes the recognition of a viable workforce. The job profiles or benchmark positions are a familiar bundle of work tasks, highly recognizable in the rehabilitation field, and typically with a recognizable title. They are used as a guide (template) by organizations when developing new position descriptions and to classify jobs within an organization. The Workforce Classification System is a tool designed to assist you and your organization in determining the "bundles of work" required and aligning these "bundles of work" in an organizational structure that supports your business operations, through a job evaluation process.

Order Form - ACDS Products

Creating Excellence Together (CET) Standards Manuals

NEW!  The 2016 version of CET Accreditation Standards are now available for purchase.  This version of the standards will apply to every service provider whose next CET site survey starts during or after April 2017. 

The standards still include two levels of accreditation:

  • Level 1 Standards for Adults with Disabilities
  • Level 2 Standards for Adults with Disabilities

For further information about the 2016 standards, or about your next CET site survey, please contact your Accreditation Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Purchasing Instructions

  1. All requests for the CET Standards and/or additional indicators must be accompanied by the Order Form for ACDS Products
  2. The digital version of these products requires buyers to purchase a license from ACDS
  3. One copy of the manuals and/or additional indicators may be printed from either the digital version or from the server (i.e., PDF) version
    • Section Dividers may be purchased separately for buyers who wish to print a copy from the digital or server versions
  4. Service providers whose CET site survey starts before April 2017, and who still require the 2013 version of the standards, need to contact their Accreditation Coordinator or email ACDS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Guide to Changes

CET Accreditation Level 1

The CET Accreditation Level 1 Manual includes the basic CET standards and indicators plus explanatory preambles to each standard and other reference material that service providers need to prepare for a Level1 site survey. Accreditation Level 1 assures clients they are getting services from an organization that has met the Alberta Government's required level of excellence.

CET Accreditation Level 2

The CET Accreditation Level 2 Manual includes all of the information in the Level 1 Manual plus additional "stretch indicators" that will help service providers prepare for a Level II site survey. Accreditation Level 2 shows clients that the organization has chosen to be accountable to a more stringent set of standards and a higher level of excellence.

Services for Children with Disabilities

The CET Children's Accreditation Standards Manual will be used to prepare for a site survey that includes services to children with developmental disabilities. This manual contains only standards and indicators that are relevant to children, so service providers will use it in conjunction with the CET Accreditation Levels 1 and 2 Manual.

Complex Support Needs (CSN)

The CET Accreditation manuals can include CSN indicators to help service providers prepare for a site survey that includes supports to clients with complex behaviours and complex medical needs. Service providers can choose to have these services reviewed in conjunction with either a CET Accreditation Level 1 or Level 2 site survey.

Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities

Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities are additional indicators to the CET Accreditation Level 1 and Level 2 Standards.  Service providers can use these indicators in conjuctions with Levels 1 and 2 as they prepare for a site survey that includes their respite services to children or adults. 

Guidelines for the Use of Medications that Influence Behaviour

Guidelines for the Use of Medications that Influence Behaviour is an invaluable guide for any service provider that administers medication to influence behaviour. The booklet explores reasons to use medication to influence behaviour, the types of medication to consider, and how medication can impact individuals.

NOTE 1: This booklet should not replace consultation with a qualified professional.

NOTE 2: You must purchase a license from ACDS to view the report in digital format. To order:

  • use Order Form - ACDS Products, or 
  • contact the Accreditation Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click to view report if you already have a license from ACDS.


ACDS Head Office

160 3015-12 Street NE
Calgary, AB  T2E 7J2
Ph: (403) 250-9495
Fax: (403) 291-9864

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