Alberta Council of Disability Services

Foundations in Community Disability Studies (Online)

December 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020

10:18 AM - 10:18 AM


To register, please complete the form located at this Microsoft Form. Please email for questions or concerns.


History of Course

Foundations in Community Disability Studies, was first developed in 2005. It was a collaborative effort of post-secondary, government, and service providers, in the province of Alberta. It is copyrighted to the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) and is coordinated out of their offices in Calgary.

Building on 13 years of experience with the Basic Skills Training (BST) program we have kept the same successful Tutor supported in-service training model, but are now offering a more comprehensive work-based learning program. It is practical in focus and designed to teach real skills for the workplace. 

It has become a benchmark with the industry and is quickly being accepted as required training for all entry level Community Disability Services Workers without previous related training or education. 


About the Course

This course provides a comprehensive orientation to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by staff in today's world. This is just the beginning of a challenging and rewarding career.


Section Breakdowns

There are a total of 16 modules. 

Section 1 has 5 modules.

Section 2 has 6 modules.

Section 3 has 5 modules.

There are two additional mandatory external modules: First Aid/CPR and Medical Administration.


Section 1

Module 1: The Evolving Field of Community Disability Studies

  • Unit 1: Development of Community Disability Services
  • Unit 2: Role of Government

Module 2: Values and Attitudes

  • Unit 1: Your Values and Beliefs
  • Unit 2: Professional Codes of Ethics
  • Unit 3: The Person-centred Approach
  • Unit 4: Common Theoretical Concepts

Module 3: Common Disabilities

  • Unit 1: Understanding a Disability Label
  • Unit 2: Developmental Disabilities
  • Unit 3: Physical Disabilities and Conditions
  • Unit 4: Emotional and Behavioural Disorders

Module 4: Roles and Responsibilities

  • Unit 1: Getting to Know the Person
  • Unit 2: Building Community
  • Unit 3: Promoting Personal Growth and Self-Determination
  • Unit 4: Dealing with Abusive Situations

Module 5: Legislation and Human Rights Protection

  • Unit 1: Development of Human Rights Globally and in Canada
  • Unit 2: Human Rights in Alberta


Section 2

Module 6: Safety Issues

  • Unit 1: Common Hazards
  • Unit 2: Responding to Accidents, Emergencies, and Disasters

Module 7: Ergonomics

  • Unit 1: Basics of Ergonomics
  • Unit 2: Lifting and Transferring

Module 8: Adaptations and Accommodations

  • Unit 1: Communication Aids
  • Unit 2: Mobility Aids
  • Unit 3: Other Aids

Module 9: Universal Precautions and Infection Control

  • Unit 1: Universal Precautions Against Infections
  • Unit 2: Hepatitis, HIV, and AIDs
  • Unit 3: Self-care

Module 10: Personal Hygiene Support

  • Unit 1: Values in Personal Hygiene Support
  • Unit 2: Personal Care Procedures
  • Unit 3: Repositioning a Person in Bed

Module 11: Nutrition and Mealtimes

  • Unit 1: Health and Nutrition
  • Unit 2: Mealtimes
  • Unit 3: Safety Practices for Food


Section 3

Module 12: Promoting Wellness

  • Unit 1: Healthy Choices
  • Unit 2: Observing Changes in Wellness
  • Unit 3: Emotional and Mental Health

Module 13: Facilitating Growth and Skill Development

  • Unit 1: Facilitating Growth for Community Living
  • Unit 2: Planning Process for Skill Development
  • Unit 3: Working with Data

Module 14: Interpersonal Communication

  • Unit 1: Effective Communication
  • Unit 2: Non-Verbal Communication
  • Unit 3: Written Communication

Module 15: Professional Communication

  • Unit 1: Contributing to Meetings
  • Unit 2: Workplace Issues
  • Unit 3: Conflict Prevention and Resolution

Module 16: Personal and Professional Competence

  • Unit 1: Stress and Burnout
  • Unit 2: Stress Management
  • Unit 3: Cultural Competency
  • Unit 4: Professional Development and Lifelong Learning


External Modules (Requires Certifications to be sent into ACDS)

  • First Aid/CPR
  • Medication Administration



This delivery mode requires the support of an in-service trainer. Individual learners are registered through ACDS. The support of a mentor is required for the applied component to this course, referred to as the Skills Checklist. It is recommended that Mentors complete either the Foundations Train-the-Trainer or the online Fundamentals of Mentoring course.


Course Format

Online Foundations is delivered via the internet with the exception of the applied Skills Checklist and several assignments which are completed in-house with a mentor. ACDS uses Moodle to deliver this course at

The online format currently has three start dates each year: April 1, August 1, & December 1. Learners are enrolled in a section and have three months to complete the section before enrollment in the next section. Overall, this course should take about one year to complete.

Once all 18 modules have been completed, a certificate of completion is awarded. Course completion time is approximately 75-90 hours.


Knowledge Testing

Each module involves a knowledge test. The knowledge tests are multiple choice and various from 5-30 questions per module. Learners are required to have a mark of 80% to pass. Learners are only given 2 attempts to pass the test. 


Written Assignments

There is also a written assignment required for each module. Learners will be graded with a pass/fail for each written assignment to illustrate they understand and have apply the concepts to their daily work.


Applied Skills/Skills Checklist

This skills checklist ensures that learners meet the required learning outcomes. 



This training program was specifically designed for direct service workers in the evolving field of Community Disability Services. It has been designed to provide a comprehensive orientation to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by staff in today's world. 



Subsidies are currently available for this course.

Member Pricing: $225 + $11.25GST = $236.25

Non-Member Pricing: $292.50 + $14.63 GST= $307.13

Replacement Learner Fee: $35 + $1.75 GST = $36.75

Fees need to be paid BEFORE course start date.


Cancellation Policy

Written notice of cancellation must be received ten working days prior to the first day of this event for a full refund. Cancellations following this deadline will be subjected to a $35 + GST administrative fee.