In This Issue

ACDS News and Updates


Training and Development Update


Foundations in Community Disability Studies

Introduction to Positive Behaviour Supports

Safe4Life Self-Defense Training


 Standards and Accreditation Update


Workforce Development Update


Save The Date: ACDS 2020 Annual Conference


Digital Membership Seals



External News


Alberta Standards for Physical Restrains and Seclusion in Schools


Bow Valley College Seeking Practicum Student Placements


Training and Development Update Training

Curriculum Changes

Registration is open for the online version of our  Foundations in Community Disability Studies and is now available to ACDS members for $225 from $600 previously. This reduction was made possible by the program's mentors, who are volunteering  more of their time to support learner's. This program includes the applied skills checklists and the certificate of completion of our formal Foundations in Community Disability Studies program.  We have updated our course, Fundamentals of Mentorship , to support capacity building and learning within organizations. Previously, this course was available to mentors of learners taking the Foundations in Community Disability Studies course. The course is now a general introduction to mentoring, and anyone can take the course to refine their knowledge and skills of mentorship.  Training and Development at ACDS is currently updating its website and event registration process. Please contact with a request to register a learner(s) for one of our available courses.
Upcoming Opportunities

Foundations in Community Disability Studiesfoundations
As a winter promotion, the self-directed version of our Foundations in Community Disability Studies   program will be made free of cost between December 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020 for the first  50 registrants . This version of the course was recently developed and is offered to those seeking foundational knowledge about Community Disability Services. It is delivered online and does not include the applied skills checklist or certificate of completion. This course is ideal for those involved with family managed services; those seeking a knowledge refresher in the sector; or experienced professionals looking to stay current with core topics. To reserve a spot on a waiting list, registrants (either individual or organizations) can email with the subject line "Foundations (Self-Directed) - Winter Promotion Registration" and provide the expected number of registrants. ACDS will follow-up in early December with the individuals on the list with confirmation, in order of reservation.


Introduction to Positive Behaviour Supportspbs

A face-to-face version of our new Introduction to Positive Behaviour Supports  program will be offered at the Chrysalis Edmonton office on November 28 and 29. The training will be one and a half days (running from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on Day 1; and 8:30 AM to noon on Day 2). This training is ideal for frontline workers seeking foundational knowledge on PBS, particularly in developing strategies that blend theory and practice. This training is also recommended for those intending to be an in-house PBS trainer in the future (as this training would be required to take the train-the-trainer course). Registration will be capped at 12 participants. Please email  for information on registration, or with any questions.


Safe4Life Self-Defense Trainingsafe4life

ACDS is eager to recommend a safety / self-defense training program on behalf of Safe4Life. This program runs for four hours and can accommodate up to 25 staff members. Facilitated by City of Calgary Police Officers, this program addresses the need for self-defense and resistance training to respond to violence or harassment in the workplace. The Corporate Group Training Self Defense Program is $3125. ACDS is pleased to announce member organizations can receive a 10% discount off of this price. To claim this promotion, please email with your organization name and number of registrants. For questions related to this course, or for more information, please email or call 403-701-9037.

Standards and Accreditation Update Standards

Accreditation Best Practice and Standards Review
Every 3 years, the CET standards undergoes a review and update. This year we are undertaking a broader review of all its processes and systems in addition to updating the standards themselves.
To get the greatest understanding of accreditation best practice, we conducted a request for proposals. Engage First Management Consultants was the successful applicant and will be conducting this review during the coming year and leading up to the release of new standards in 2021. The company is eager to engage with our stakeholders and point us to the best path forward.
Please stay tuned for calls to participate in upcoming focus groups.
Surveyor Training
Accreditation gained 27 CET Surveyors following Surveyor Training in Calgary on September 24/25, 2019. These individuals represent 19 service providers, one of which is multiregional, and each of which has gained the ability to enhance internal capacity. The provincial regions of Edmonton, Calgary, Central, South and North Central were well represented.
One of the highlights of this year's Surveyor Training is that we moved our digitization agenda forward by switching to mobile manuals and tools distributed on a tablet that can be easily searched and updated. By using this platform, surveyors can instantly access revised versions of documents as soon as ACDS uploads them.
Congratulations to ACDS Accredited Organizations

CET Accreditation Level 2 for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Level 2 service providers are recognized by the Community Disability Services 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.
Chrysalis, An Alberta Society for Citizens with Disabilities
The Edmonton and Calgary offices of Chrysalis, An Alberta Society for Citizens with Disabilities (Chrysalis) were awarded Accreditation Level 2 following the Commission on Accreditation meeting in August 2019.
The funds raised by the Chrysalis Charitable Foundation supports day programs, pilot projects (e.g., the Human Centered Design), some assistive technology devices, computers, and supplies (e.g., for the art therapy program). This organization has two small arm's length manufacturing social enterprises and contracts to produce plastic products and wood products that generate revenue to help fund the organization's programs.
Chrysalis is commended
  • for the many independent employment sites it has partnerships with such as: Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Do All Landscaping, Dairy Queen, Lowes, Roger's Place, CFWE Radio, and Staples.
  • for its strong volunteer component, with over 80 volunteer placements throughout the City of Edmonton. 
  • for the degree that individuals are a part of the community, with volunteering, and with staff assisting individuals to become more independent.  
  • for providing additional support when employed individuals ask for it. For example, when individuals are invited to participate in employer-led performance evaluations, the staff will meet with the employer to ensure all is going well.
Lacombe Action Group for the Handicapped
Lacombe Action Group for the Handicapped (the Action Group) was awarded Accreditation Level 2, the Complex Support Needs Designation, Services for Children with Disabilities, and Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities following the Commission on Accreditation meeting in August 2019.
The Action Group serves adults and children with developmental disabilities through residential services, community access, respite and employment services. About 14% of individuals accessing service have complex support needs, and 9.5% access respite services only.
The Action Group is commended
  • for promoting further leadership roles within the community, such as individuals being a self-advocacy conference representative.
  • for the quality of its staff satisfaction survey, from which staff were able to clearly state what they would like to achieve, and to provide valued feedback that can be incorporated into the annual planning and strategic planning processes.
S.P.A.N. St. Paul Abilities Network Society
S.P.A.N. St. Paul Abilities Network Society (SPAN) was awarded Accreditation Level 2, the Complex Support Needs Designation, and Respite for Children and Adults with Disabilities following the Commission on Accreditation meeting in July 2019.
SPAN serves adults and children with developmental disabilities through residential and community access programs as well as out-of-home respite and employment preparation, placement and support. The organization has plans to continue developing modern, affordable house for individuals living in St. Paul and area. Its social enterprises include the Hampton Inn, a fully accessible public hotel that won ACDS' 2018 Innovation Award.
SPAN is commended
  • for encouraging individuals to assume leadership roles in their communities and to participate in projects that promote enjoyment for community members and projects that preserve history.
  • for having a Behaviour Alternatives Resource Manual that clearly explains everyone's role in the development and review of interventions when supporting individuals with complex behavioural needs.
  • for initiating a Behavioural Alternatives Resource Committee.
  • for having a comprehensive and up-to-date Health and Safety Procedures Manual, which is in line with the Bill 30 revisions of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act that came into effect in 2018.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. (SLL) was awarded Accreditation Level 2 and the Complex Support Needs Designation following the Commission on Accreditation meeting in July 2019.
SLL specializes in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals who are medically fragile and/or have complex needs such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia and substance addictions. The organization's services include community living supports, adult relief (e.g., respite, day support) and career and employment services. SLL's Support Approach Team accesses the specialized services of a psychologist and other consultants who work towards enhancing the supports to individuals and other service providers.
SLL is commended...
  • for providing the type of teaching and training that has increased individuals' confidence around trying things for themselves or not hesitating to ask for assistance.
  • for the excellence in staff training and the consistency of approaches when implementing planned positive and planned restrictive procedures, which have decreased the number of incidences among individuals accessing service.
  • for offering customized presentations to meet the training needs of other DIAD-funded service providers.
  • for implementing initiatives that have resulted in having an onsite sensory room, having an individual-led self-advocacy group, being awarded the Certificate of Recognition Certification, and expanding individual-enhanced training for staff. 
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.
  • Association for Supporting Choices of People, Edson (SCOPE)
  • Connect Up with Downs
  • Edenbridge Family Services Inc.
  • Falher Friendship Corner Association
  • Lac La Biche Disability Services
  • L'Arche Association of Calgary
  • L'Arche Association of Lethbridge
  • Leduc LINX Connect Centre
  • Living Independently for Equality (LIFE)
  • March of Dimes
  • Mill Woods Society for Community Living
  • Northern Lights Ranch Ltd.
  • Regional Living Skills Association
  • Vegreville Association for Living in Dignity (VALID)
Workfo rce Developm ent Update Workforce

Community Services Staff Safety Initiative (CSSSI)
ACDS, ALIGN, and the Government of Alberta Ministries of Children's Services and Community and Social Services, have partnered on an initiative to increase safety and reduce harassment and violence in the workplace. CSSSI will assist contracted agency workers who provide disability supports and children's services, by providing customized safety information, training and tools for staff, supervisors and employers. 
As part of the initiative, the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) have been contracted to work with ALIGN and ACDS to design and deliver new resources for staff, to be implemented between now and 2021. 
AASP has made available the first of a set of courses under the initiative:  Module 3 - Joint Worksite Health and Safety Committee / Health and Safety Representative Training.  This course is  approved by Alberta Labour  for both  classroom  and  online  delivery and meets all requirements for training of Health and Safety Committee (HSC) and Health and Safety Representatives (HSR). Under the Alberta Occupational Health & Safety Act, Part 3, all worksites that employ more than 4 workers are required to have one or more employees complete this training to be in compliance.
 Classroom Training is available at $150 per person with an onsite discount of 10% for classes with a minimum of 12 participants and a maximum of 25. Contact Ray Gaetz at  to book training.
  eLearning Training is also available online through the AASP website at  at a cost of $75 per person. Scroll down to the Health and Safety Best Practices section and click on Community Services Sector to access the eLearning course.
For more information about CSSSI, read the communique  from the ACDS, ALIGN and the GoA. For questions related to training, contact, Ray Gaetz (403-589-7349) or Carol Ross at (403-223-9008) at AASP.

Save The Date conference

The ACDS Annual Conference is  May 12-13, 2020 in Edmonton
We are building on the success of the ACDS 2019 Annual Conference and will offer another strong learning experience, focused on sharing knowledge and expertise from a range of excellent speakers and presenters. Concurrent sessions will be customized to leadership (executives and senior management), middle management and front-line staff.
This two-day conference will be held in Edmonton at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton South Conference Centre. Visit th conference website.

In October, all new and returning ACDS members were sent a digital membership seal. These are a part of a new initiative for organizations to increase their visibility and recognition as an ACDS member. The seal can be easily posted on your online resources, including your website and social media platforms, and on print materials. The Employabilities LinkedIn post below is a great example of how the seal can be used. Please send any questions on the use of this digital seal to .

External News and Events Other

Alberta Standards for Seclusion and Physical Restraints in Alberta Schoolsstandards

Alberta Education has worked with school authorities and stakeholders to develop standards for seclusion and physical restraints in schools. The resulting publication,
Standards for Seclusion and Physical Restraint in Alberta Schools, addresses information that could be used by organizations that provide services to children with disabilities when developing, reviewing, and/or revising policies, procedures and practices around de-escalating situations of concern in supporting positive outcomes for children and youth.
An overview and the publication itself are available at


Bow Valley College Disability Studies Program Seeking Practicum Student PlacementsBVC
Adult services has become increasingly popular as many of our graduates are employed in this sector. Therefore, the demand for adult services practicum placements has increased significantly over the last year. Bow Valley College (BVC) is looking for Calgary and area-based practicums as well as province wide partnerships for a number of our online students.
If you're an organization that already takes practicum students but would like to take more, have never worked with practicum students but are interested, or are struggling to find qualified staff, they want to hear from you. Contact BVC now to book a visit or to have a conversation with our team.

Please contact Donna Jones and/or Michelle Cole .

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