CAREERS


WHY WORK IN SPECIAL NEEDS?


Working in special needs, or the Developmental Services (DS) sector, provides a career where individuals really do make a difference in the lives of others. Most individuals working in the sector say that they get more back from their work – in terms of satisfaction and personal reward – than they give in terms of the support they provide to those with developmental disabilities. Through your close relationships with individuals with special needs, you directly assist with and take on shared responsibility for their activities of daily living, ongoing development, and overall well being.


WHAT DOES THE WORK INVOLVE?


Making a difference in the lives of others is achieved on a day-to-day basis in a variety of situations, and requires a high level of responsibility. Our agency supports people of all ages in work environments such as residential group homes, independent living situations, a workplace, or a family home. The developmental disabilities you might encounter include Autism, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or Dual Diagnosis (developmental disability in conjunction with mental illness). Tasks involve keeping the supported person active, teaching them or helping with a daily chore such as cooking, banking, housekeeping, administering medications, or documenting your work as a case manager.


HOW DO I GET STARTED?


Generally, you will need a two-year post secondary diploma in a related field, such as Educational Assistant–Special Needs Support (EA-SNS), Child and Youth Worker (CYW), Social Service Worker (SSW), or Developmental Support Services (DSS). Alternatively, a post secondary degree in a related field such as Physical Education with a Disabilities specialization may also meet educational requirements.


WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?


In addition to the necessary educational requirements, we look for candidates with the following skills, characteristics and experience:

  • Good problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • Mature, empathetic, and non-judgmental
  • An ability to adapt and work with others
  • An ability to handle emergencies and work calmly under pressure
  • An ability to communicate well verbally, non-verbally, and in writing
  • Strong organizational skills
  • A minimum of three months of experience working with adults, children or youth with special needs
  • Valid driver’s license
  • First aid, CPR, Safety-Care or willingness to obtain