Welcome to the ACDS Umbrella, our quarterly newsletter

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In This October 2023 Issue


  • Impact+ Webinar Series: Recap 

ACDS Program Updates

  • Recently Accredited CET Level 1 and CET Level 2 Service Providers
  • Updates to Core Courses: Advanced Skills in PBS and Foundations in CDS
  • Recently Launched Course: Introduction to Complex Support Needs and Secure Treatment 
  • Upcoming and Ongoing Training Events: Register today 

Advocacy and Research

  • Project Blueprint CDS: Update
  • CDS Sector Priorities

Sector News and Opportunities  

  • New ED: McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association
  • Participate in ADWA's Strategic Planning Engagement Session
  • Participate in a Discussion Forum re: Disability-Inclusive Policy in Canada

Impact+ Webinar Series: Recap 

From October 16 to 20, 2023, ACDS hosted the first set of Impact+ webinars centered on the theme, “Supporting Frontline Workers and Emerging Leaders.” As we conclude a week of enriching sessions, we would like to thank the over 250 attendees, speakers, and our sponsor belairdirect, for their participation in the series.

The webinars explored important topics relevant to the disability services sector, from empowering frontline workers to understanding neurodiversity. Stay tuned for future opportunities for continued learning and collaboration.  

If you haven't already, save the date for the ACDS annual conference, Impact 2024! Join us for further learning and a deep dive into current topics and issues within the disability services sector. Registration will launch in early 2024. 

ACDS Program Updates

Congratulations to CET Level 2 Service Providers 

ACDS is pleased to announce that MirkaCare Services has recently achieved CET Level 2 Accreditation. Level 2 service providers are recognized for their innovative and creative approaches in delivering quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Congratulations to CET Level 1 Service Providers 

Prospect Human Service Society 

Prince Charles Residence 

Independent Counselling Enterprises Inc. – Edmonton Region 

Independent Counselling Enterprises Inc. – NW Region 

Independent Counselling Enterprises Inc. – Calgary Region 

Independent Counselling Enterprises Inc. – South Region 

Updates to Core Courses: Advanced Skills in PBS and Foundations in CDS

Recognizing the importance of continuous learning and the need to address evolving challenges in our field, we have introduced nine new sections to our Advanced Skills in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) training program.


As well, with input and assistance from the Foundations Advisory Committee, we have made significant updates to our Foundations in Community Disability Studies training curriculumdesigned to empower you with the latest knowledge and insights to excel in your role as a Community Disability Services worker in Alberta.

Learn more about the Advanced Skills in PBS updates
Learn more about the Foundations in CDS updates
Register for the November 14-16 Instructor-led Virtual Advanced Skills in Positive Behaviour Support Training

Recently Launched Course: Complex Support Needs and Secure Treatment

In March 2023, ACDS launched an online course titled, Introduction to Complex Support Needs and Secure Treatment to support organizations serving individuals with severe and complex needs. Developed in collaboration with the Calgary Scope Society, the course is designed to provide organizations with the necessary resources to effectively serve individuals who have developmental disabilities along with extremely complex mental health, medical, and/or behavioural needs. It consists of 8 modules, including assessments and a final test, and can be completed at the learner's own pace.

Learn more about the course

Training and Development

ACDS offers several courses and other learning opportunities to disability organizations and staff, giving them the knowledge and tools to provide quality support to individuals with developmental disabilities.


These courses are designed for leaders and frontline staff working in the disability sector and are available to members and non-members. Many courses are relevant to and may be of interest to staff and organizations outside of Alberta.

Online Training

Ongoing courses can be completed and started at a learner's own pace.

View the complete list and register for online training

In-Person and Virtual Training

View the listing of upcoming training, including:

View the complete list and register for upcoming sessions
Advocacy and Research

Blueprint CDS: Update

In April 2023, we released the completed the Project Blueprint CDS: Comprehensive Workforce Strategy and its accompanying Technical Document, which provides significant detail on the research and evidence underlying the rationale for the recommendations. 

Project Blueprint CDS outlines a suite of 18 recommendations focusing on understanding the workforce context, recruiting and retaining the workforce, and developing the workforce. Since the release of the Strategy, we have been exploring and advancing opportunities to help implement these recommendations, including opportunities in collaboration with Government of Alberta ministries with whom we may have mutual goals or whose mandates address specific recommendations in the strategy. 

Learn more about BlueprintCDS

CDS Sector Priorities 2023 - 2026

In 2019, ACDS developed a Vision and Impact Framework with three principles that we believe are foundational to impactful and sustainable programs to help Albertans with disabilities participate in and contribute to vibrant communities: respectful relationships, impactful investment, and seamless systems. Within these three principles, we have highlighted seven priorities to guide our advocacy work for the Community Disability Services sector for the foreseeable future.

We have also identified how we can help achieve these priorities through corresponding collaborative opportunities with the Government of Alberta. These priorities were derived from various diverse engagement mechanisms we use to communicate with ACDS members and the CDS sector. They will be evaluated and adjusted as appropriate based on the sector's evolving issues, program developments, and policy opportunities.

Learn more about CDS Sector Priorities 2023-2026

Sector News and Opportunities

New Executive Director: McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association

McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association has recently announced the appointment of Chris Simonson as the incoming Executive Director. Chris Simonson - who currently serves as Chief Operating Officer/Vice President at Catholic Social Services - will succeed Danica Frazer, who is retiring at the end of November.

ADWA’s Strategic Planning & Community Engagement Session 

ADWA’s last community engagement session is taking place via Zoom on October 27, 2023. This session is intended for CEOs, Executive Directors, and senior managers of Community Disability Service sector organizations. 

This focus group is intended to gather feedback from the CDS sector community about your experience with ADWA. Please keep in mind that this is not an information session. Information from the Engagement Sessions will be used at ADWA’s strategic retreat happening in November. 

Register for the upcoming session

Disability-Inclusive Policy in Canada: A National Engagement Discussion Forum 

Join the Disability Policy Research Program on November 28, 2023, from 9:30 am to 12 pm (MDT) for a discussion forum focusing on disability-inclusive policy in Canada. This initiative builds on prior research, which included focus groups and interviews to establish recommendations for governments in various sectors. This event aims to identify overarching principles that can guide the creation of disability-inclusive policies. Interactive, consensus-building techniques will be employed to create a safe space for sharing insights and perspectives. 

Register for the forum

Connect With Us on Social Media

ACDS has a strong and active presence on X, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media is an effective way for us to share timely news and information related to ACDS and the Community Disability Services sector. If you aren’t already, follow us on social media today!