ACDS Staffing Update

ACDS recently welcomed new staff to support the planning and delivery of ACDS' programs and services and advance our strategic goals. We are pleased to welcome:

Amanda Poitras, Workforce Coordinator:
Carla Lawrence, Standards and Accreditation Coordinator:
Leah Moldofsky, Accreditation Administrative Assistant:
Kakoli Mitra, Training and Development Administrator:
Semaa Amin, Energy Efficiency Coordinator:

Training and Development Update

ACDS Online Outcomes Training

The prototype run of the Online Outcomes Training ends on March 31, 2019. Response to this training has been encouraging with 152 registrants for this first-time course. Beginning April 1, 2019, ACDS will offer a second self-directed Online Outcomes Training course. Fees will apply and certificates will be awarded.
The purpose of the course is to increase knowledge, skills, confidence, and understanding of the front-line workers' role, so they can effectively support adults and children with developmental disabilities and their families to achieve meaningful outcomes.  This self-paced course is presented in three one-hour modules to allow participants to reflect and apply concepts before the next module. Here is a link to read about Learning Objectives .
Learners must receive a score of 80% in the open-book exam within two tries. Successful learners receive an electronic certificate of completion.

Are You Ready to Sign Up Now for the April 1 Course?
Great! You can  Register  online.

Questions about this or other training programs can be directed to

ACDS Training and Events Calendar

The ACDS Training and Events page and Training Calendar are updated every time we added a new course or scheduled a new date. So check it out often. 
Positioning for New Realities

Spaces for registrants is filling fast!

The Best Western Premier Calgary Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre

May 13-14, 2019
Click here for  Information and Registration

We are excited to use Whova as our event platform.
Attendees please download  Whova event app.
Or go directly to  Apple Store or Google Play
Workforce Classification System Manual

The 2018 Workforce Classification System Manual
The 5th edition of the Workforce Classification System (WCS) Manual is now available  in PDF version and it is free to service providers that are funded by The Ministry of Community and Social Services - Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility Division (formerly PDD)
The revised WCS manual  is based on user feedback from our most recent survey and it reflects important changes to the Community Disability Services (CDS) sector.
  • Benchmark Job Profiles for specialized career paths (e.g., complex needs workers, employment workers), addressing the needs of more emerging and complex population of service recipients by including a wider scope of positions in the industry.
  • An updated Career Ladder, more clearly encouraging professional development.
  • Two new competencies, providing clearer expectations for staff.
  • A new competency-based Staff Evaluation Tool, further standardizing the evaluation process.  
  • Simpler language to make information easier to understand for those without Human Resources backgrounds, as well as a new simplified and easy to navigate format.
This manual is only available in PDF version and it is free to service providers that are funded by The Ministry of Community and Social Services - Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility Division (formerly PDD). 

An order form can be downloaded from ACDS Print & Digital.
Standards and Accreditation Update

Congratulations to ACDS Accredited Organizations
CET Accreditation Level 2 for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Level 2 service providers are recognized by the community disability sector for their innovative and creative approaches to delivering quality services to individuals with development disabilities. These service providers have demonstrated a higher level of excellence than required for basic accreditation and can be proud to use Accreditation Level 2 as the benchmark that individuals accessing service deserve.
Blue Heron Support Services Association
Blue Heron provides multiple supports in Northwest Region to adults and children with developmental disabilities, and to individuals who have brain injuries and/or complex support needs. Following its survey in October 2018, Blue Heron achieved 
  • CET Accreditation Level 2
  • Complex Support Needs Designation
  • Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities
  • Services for Children with Disabilities
Blue Heron is commended for ...
  • Having a well-developed Living Independently for Everyone (LIFE) program that is the basis for supporting individuals wanting to pursue and maintain competitive employment and volunteer opportunities.
  • Having a comprehensive and responsive transitional planning process that goes above and beyond increasing supports for individuals but also helps them transition from one life stage to another, including from harmful lifestyles to stable residential supports.
  • Having excellent processes in place for its risk management policies and procedures.
  • Having HR planning that includes a highly-developed database system, Maple, that has resulted in creating efficiencies for the organization.
  • Obtaining job grants and maintaining a bursary program for its employees.


A ssociation for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI)
ARBI' s mission is to provide rehabilitation to brain injury and stroke survivors and to support them in their reintegration into the community. The organization's partnerships include Calgary Immigrant Women's Association (language assistance to individuals who do not speak English as a first language), the downtown YMCA (exercise program) and the City of Calgary Wildflower (art program). ARBI achieved Accreditation Level 2 following its survey in November 2018, a nice way to wind up its 40th anniversary year.
ARBI is commended for ...
  • Ensuring staff are aware of and kept informed on matters of brain injury by attending conferences, participating in webinars and workshops, and taking related courses.
  • Using professional staff to conduct research and publish articles (e.g., SaeboFlex), which also contributes to learning and development for its staff.
  • Mentoring staff through a process that involves having a community rehabilitation worker work with a therapist for one month before being assigned to work independently with a volunteer.
  • Having a continuous quality improvement and outcome evaluation model that, along with its data collection system, has helped the organization achieve outstanding results.
Empowering Citizens for Health and Opportunities (E.C.H.O.) Society
E.C.H.O. Society supports individuals with developmental disabilities, including those who have complex support needs, through residential services, supported independent living supports, employment services, a community access program, a harm reduction program and a CSS Grant for Unmet Needs . E.C.H.O. Society achieved Accreditation Level 2 and the Complex Support Needs Designation following its survey in December 2018.
E.C.H.O. Society is commended for ...
  • Implementing the CSS Grant for Unmet Needs project, which ensures additional supports are available for individuals who have high mental health issues, brain injuries, addictions, etc.
  • Starting and continuing with a Harm Reduction program, Vial of Life Emergency Medical Services, a customized employment program for individuals who want to start their own businesses, and a staff health and wellness day.
  • Facilitating early transition planning procedures with junior and senior high schools in the area.
  • Participating in community parades to celebrate Christmas and July 1st, both of which the society was awarded first place.
CET Accreditation Level 1 for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Congratulations to the service providers listed below for attaining CET Accreditation Level 1 in the last quarter. Your accomplishments are well appreciated by ACDS and the individuals who access your services.
  • Advocate Community Resources Ltd.
  • Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, North West
  • Clients Ongoing Rehabilitation and Equality (CORE) Association
  • Foothills Advocacy in Motion Society
  • High Prairie Native Friendship Centre
  • Michener Services
  • Rehabilitation Society of Southwestern Alberta
  • Selections - Career Support Services
  • Special Development Unit, Alberta Health Services
  • Wetaskiwin and District Association for Community Services
Types of CET Accreditation Surveys
To meet the requirements of The Ministry of Community and Social Services - Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility Division (formerly Persons with Developmental Disabilities [PDD]), service providers must, minimally, achieve CET Accreditation Level 1.
Service providers that wish to challenge themselves to a higher level of accreditation and want to demonstrate that they are innovative and leaders in the field can apply for Accreditation Level 2, as described online at  CET Accreditation Levels & Survey Types .
Service providers can also go through any combination of additional indicators (add-on survey types) with either their Level 1 or Level 2 survey. It's like a menu where a service provider must choose 1 item from column A but have the option of choosing up to 3 items from column B.
COLUMN A: Base Survey Types
COLUMN B: Additional Indicators
You must choose either
Level 1 or Level 2
You may add to your Level 1 or Level 2
any of the following
*  CET Accreditation Level 1
*  Complex Support Needs (CSN)
*  CET Accreditation Level 2
*  Respite for Children or Adults with Disabilities
*  Services for Children with Disabilities
After a service provider has received its one-year letter (notification of a CET survey), it will indicate its choice(s) on a  Confirmation to the Survey Process form. Receipt of this form will prompt a call from the ACDS Accreditation Coordinator to confirm the choice and to discuss next steps. 
Individuals who are accessing supports for CSN, respite or children's services must be listed as such on the  Record of Individuals Accessing Service. At least one individual for each service type also needs to participate in survey conversations.
We encourage you to call or email your Accreditation Coordinator at any time to discuss your options.
Energy Efficiency Program

The first cycle of the  Energy Efficiency Program is ending, and funding has been obtained to ensure its return for a second cycle!

The first iteration of the program focused on energy auditing and awareness related to climate change and energy efficiency. During the energy auditing, recommendations were made for energy savings that amounted to 443 MW of electricity, and 8,500 GJ of natural gas saved per year. That is the equivalent of 368,000 tonnes of CO 2 removed from the atmosphere!

The next cycle of the program will focus on hosting workshops and providing the tools to assist organizations perform self energy audits to find even more savings.

To learn more about how the Energy Efficiency Program is working to benefit your organization, contact Semaa Amin, Energy Efficiency Coordinator, at

Watch for our Energy Efficiency Program Blogs coming soon!
Other News and Events

External Training Resource List on ACDS Website
ACDS adds external training resources to its website whenever we learn of something new, so check often for resources for

Inclusion Alberta 2019 Annual Family Conference in Edmonton
Reducing the Risk of Abuse and Addressing its Impact: Developing an Individual Response Plan
Full-day workshop April 5, 2019 with Nora Baladerian

Funding and Incentives for Non-profits
T his Government of Alberta site
gets updated whenever there a new community grants.

Alberta Council of Disability Services
160-3015 12 ST NE
Calgary, Alberta, T2E 7J2
Phone: 403-250-9495  Fax: 403-291-9864   e-mail: