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International Study Programs

Disability and Community Support

Disability and Community Support

Red River College, Canada

About This Program

You should be a caring person, possess good communication skills, and have the desire and ability to work well with others. A high level of motivation and self-discipline, and good reading, study, and organizational skills are required. Flexible schedules are an asset as evening and weekend work may be required.

If you are an individual with two or more years of experience, currently working for agencies funded by Family Services, and you wish to strengthen your knowledge and commitment to supporting persons with disabilities, you may apply as a workplace student. There may be tuition supports available through Family Services for workplace students.

In this program you will develop the knowledge, skills, and values required to support and enhance the development of persons with disabilities.  The Disability and Community Support (Diploma) program focuses on 'community', and students will provide support to persons with disabilities in schools, homes, employment, and leisure settings.  The program is offered as a workplace model which means that courses are offered in a block format and practical learning is integrated through out the term. It also means that regular applicants will learn alongside individuals who are currently working in the field.

Course Delivery

This program is being offered at the Notre Dame Campus in Winnipeg. It follows a workplace model and has a four practicum placements.

Fieldwork or practicum make up about one quarter of the program. During these periods, you will be placed in service agencies where you will work with individuals with disabilities. The remainder of the program focuses on classroom course work. The courses and practica will provide you with skills to enable you to support individuals with disabilities.

Workplace students, that is, students with two or more years of experience working for services funded by Family Services, will be eligible to complete a Practical Challenge.

As this Disability and Community Support Advanced Diploma program has a practicum component,  students will be responsible for their own transportation in order to complete co-op, externship, internship or practical lab requirements. Red River College cannot guarantee locations that are readily accessible by public transportation. Students are responsible for all costs connected with such transportation.


Follow up research consistently shows that close to 100% of graduates find employment in the field or proceed to further education. Community options for people with disabilities have created a need for qualified personnel to work in a variety of settings including educational, residential, developmental, and employment or vocational services. Graduates are respected professionals who enjoy a very high employment rate. Previous graduates have found employment in community and government services in the following roles:

  • Direct support professionals
  • Residential support workers
  • Educational assistants in schools
  • Supported employment personnel
  • Vocational support workers
  • Individual support personnel
  • Respite workers
  • Rehabilitation workers
  • Family support workers
  • Program support and development personnel
  • Advocacy personnel

RRC's most recent statistics show an average salary of $29,172 six months after graduation. Prospects for advancement exist in related coordinator, supervisory, and management positions.


Learning Outcomes

As a student, you will learn how to assist persons with disabilities to plan and achieve their personal goals and maintain their health and well-being. You will understand how to promote the development of inclusive communities and display competent, responsible, and professional behaviour and attitudes.  You will also have an opportunity to experience a variety of community settings through your fieldwork, or practicum, which makes up about one quarter of the program.

Course Outline

Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
Year 1, Term 1
DCSP-1001 Academic Communication 3
DCSP-1003 Interpersonal Communication 3
DCSP-1012 Human Services: Values & Issues 3
DCSP-1018 Supported Community Living 3
DCSP-1030 Health & Personal Care 3
DCSP-1087 Practicum-Residential 3
DCSP-1281 Practicum-Employment/Day Service 3
DCSP-2000 Understanding Complex Behaviour 3
PRAC-1275 Practicum Seminar 1 2
PSYC-1001 Introduction to Psychology 3
Year 1, Electives
DCSP-1015 Non-Violent Crisis Intervention 1
Year 1, Term 2
DCSP-1003 Interpersonal Communication 3
DCSP-1006 Applied Teaching & Learning 3
DCSP-1007 Exploring Disabilities 3
DCSP-1009 Employment & Disability 3
DCSP-1014 Medications 3
DCSP-1087 Practicum-Residential 3
DCSP-1281 Practicum-Employment/Day Service 3
DCSP-2004 Sexuality 3
DCSP-2276 Practicum Seminar 2 2
PSYC-1001 Introduction to Psychology 3
Year 2, Term 3
DCSP-2001 Advocacy & Disability 3
DCSP-2003 Applied Literacy Skills 3
DCSP-2006 Practicum-Education 3
DCSP-2007 Practicum Seminar 3 2
DCSP-2008 Exploring Disabilities & Mental Health 3
DCSP-2010 Exploring Community Through the Arts 3
DCSP-2013 Inclusive Classroom Support 3
DCSP-2026 Augmentative Communication 3
DCSP-3007 Supervision in Human Service Settings 3
Year 2, Term 4
DCSP-2011 Family & Disability 3
DCSP-2016 Planning for Individuals 3
DCSP-2017 Conceptual Frameworks in Disability Support 3
DCSP-2190 Selected Topics in Disability 3
DCSP-3000 Community Membership & Disability 3
DCSP-3008 Practicum-Final 3
DCSP-3041 Applied Communication Skills 3
DCSP-3279 Practicum Seminar 4 2

 Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which document and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses or programs. So if you think your grades are good enough, apply for Recognition of Prior Learning for some of the courses of this program to decrease the number of subjects you have to take.  Talk to your assigned IVC Visa Counselor or Documentation Officer for advice.

Course Info

College : Community Services

Duration : 2 years

Qualifications Level : Diploma

Fees :
Tuition Fee 11,000 / year
Student Association 105 / year
Endowment 52 / year
Health Insurance Coverage 456  / year
Tech Fees 166  / year
Materials and Lab Fees 406  / year
Student Services 176  / year
Rec. Fee 20  / year
Application Fee (Non-refundable) 100
Tuition Fee Deposit (Non-refundable) 400
Confirmation of Enrolment Fee 10.50

 Please note that all fees listed above are in Canadian Dollars.  However, other fees may not have been included (e.g. airport pick-up).  The above expenses represent only an estimate of what is to be invested in your education and may be changed at any time without notice by Red River College.  Please check with your IVC-assigned Visa Counselor or Documentation Officer periodically for any changes.

Intake Dates :

The intake for the Disability and Community program is September. Make sure you check with us first though since the Start Date and Term Breaks may vary.  Beginning an application 6 months in advance of the intake date will allow you a lot of time to prepare for the visa application.

Entry Criteria

Admission and entry requirements for this qualification are in accordance with the academic regulations.  You must comply with the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of Canadian Grade 12 equivalent. 
  • As an international student, you must be able to demonstrate a level of English competency. You must therefore meet the minimum scores in ANY of the following tests:
    • IELTS (Academic Test) 6.5 overall band score. Listening, Speaking and Reading components must be at least 6.5 while the Writing component must be at least 6.0
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT): 79 - 80 minimum, with a minimum of 19 per section
  • Prior to progression to term 2, you will be required to submit the following:
    • Two-day Standard First Aid certificate
    • CPR Level Certificate

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