It is estimated that about one per cent of Canada’s population has a developmental disability, requiring support from people who are interested in making a difference in the lives of others through advocacy and education. Developmental services workers are fully committed to ensuring that people with developmental disabilities receive the support they need to lead fulfilling lives as active members of their communities.
View full costs
View all courses
To help students succeed in programs with remote learning requirements, Durham College’s IT Services department has identified minimum technology recommendations. While these are not program requirements, these suggestions will help ensure students have the right tools to support a quality remote learning experience.
View all recommendations
View all career options
A developmental service worker (DSW) supports people in all stages of life who have a developmental disability. They focus on helping people experience satisfying and rich quality of lives as active and valued members of their communities. DSWs have core values which focus on social justice, empowerment, dignity, self-worth, human relationships and integrity.
As a student in this program, you will learn how to develop and implement support plans that encourage the development of meaningful and relevant skills, self-determination, full community participation and healthy lifestyles. You will also learn how to support families in which a member has a development disability. Finally you will learn the skills necessary to advocate with and for people with developmental disabilities.
The courses listed below are for incoming students. If you are a current student, please refer to your program of study for the year you began your program. Your program of study can be found on MyDC.
Courses and course descriptions are subject to change. Please note that as a result of COVID-19 the 2023-2024 program of study may be modified to accommodate program delivery changes.
Your learning experience will be complemented by three field placements. These will provide the opportunity to integrate theory with practice in a community setting, under the supervision of an industry professional.
Students will be required to work some evenings and some weekends during their field placements.
Please note: There are costs associated with Electronic Student Permit Checking (ESPC), immunizations, lab tests and certifications. Be sure to keep all of your receipts for income tax purposes. These costs include:
It is required that students have completed the ESPC with Verified to be eligible for the field placement component of this program. You must (at your expense) provide:
Qualified graduates can apply to Durham College’s:
Durham College also offers degree completion opportunities with a number of Canadian and international institutions. Sample diploma-to-degree opportunities include:
Please visit our pathways page to learn more about how you can transfer your credits towards a degree.
To help students have the best remote learning experience possible, Durham College’s IT Services department has identified technology recommendations for each program based on course needs and software requirements. While not required, students may want to consider these suggestions if they are purchasing a computer or laptop for the upcoming academic year.
Storage: 256GB SSD
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional or Education x64 SP1
Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 11 or Google Chrome (newest version) or Firefox (newest version)
Network Adapter: 802.11ac 2.4/5 GHz wireless adapter
Camera: Webcam/built-in camera
Questions regarding technology recommendations can be directed to the IT Service Desk or the school office.