Alberta Disability Workers Association
Building a Valued, Proud & Professional Workforce
Training Events

In addition to the training opportunities found here, the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) also provides an extensive listing of courses of interest to disability workers at

Upcoming Training

CMHA Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor Training

Psychological health and safety (PHS) is embedded in the way people interact with one another on a daily basis, it is part of the way working conditions and management practices are structured. Bearing this in mind mental health is a significant challenge across workplaces. The Canadian Mental Health Commission has reported that, in any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem or illness, with a cost to the economy well in excess of 50 billion dollars. CMHA's Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor Training program will help individuals who are working to improve psychological health and safety in workplaces or implement the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard). Employers will see those with this certification as having the practical expertise to help improve psychological health and safety or implement the Standard in their workplaces. Cost for the 2-day training is $1500 and includes meals and snacks.

When: May 9 & 10, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where: TBD, Calgary
Click here to register for the Calgary session.

Belonging and Beyond Behaviour with David Pitonyak

This free workshop/webinar looks at the impact of loneliness in the lives of people who experience disabilities, particularly as it relates to difficult behaviours, what people may be communicating through their behaviours, the importance of asking critical quality of life questions in building a support plan, and the critical importance of addressing caregiver needs in the development of a support plan. This workshop will look at strategies for supporting a person in crisis. David Pitonyak, Ph.D. is internationally recognized as a leader in supporting people with complex support needs. He is particularly interested in positive approaches to difficult behaviours. David will be presenting live in one location with simultaneous webcast to other locations noted below. Click on the link by each date below to register.

When: April 4, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Live in St Paul and webcast to Vegreville, Hinton, Slave Lake and Bonnyville.

When: April 5, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Live in Barrhead and webcast to Whitecourt, High Prairie, Fort McMurray, Westlock, Lac La Biche, St Paul and Edson.

When: April 6, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Live in Grande Prairie and webcast to Peace River, Barrhead, High Level, Jasper and Athabasca.

Social Devaluation and its Address: The Importance of Valued Social Roles

Social devaluation is presented as the crucial problem; this workshop looks at some of the wounding experiences that fill their lives and the impact these experiences have upon them. Participants will be introduced to the importance of social roles and how helping devalued people to fill valued social roles is useful in counteracting the social devaluation in their lives. Come prepared to listen, take notes, and frame and discuss your questions. Also come prepared to think about the devalued people you know, their life experiences and the social roles they fill in life. This course is delivered via lecture, questions and discussion led by Peg Jenner and Bill Forman. Cost is $100. Click here for more information and the registration form.

When: Thursday, April 19, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: Drumheller Room, Holiday Inn (4206 Macleod Trail S) Calgary

Social Role Valorization: A Framework for Assisting People to have Full, Meaningful and Inclusive Lives

This workshop will challenge participants to think deeply about the marginalization, oppression and exclusion of people who are devalued in their community. The workshop, led by Bill Forman, is taught at a college level using a lecture format with extensive use of PowerPoint, overheads and slides. Past SRV participants report that this is one of the most demanding workshops they have attended, but have rarely expressed dissatisfaction and, in fact, appreciate the workshop's rigour and high level of engagement. Cost is $500 (includes registration, handouts, welcome breakfast, daily coffee and lunch). Click here for more information and the registration form.

When: May 14 - 17 (8:30 - 5:30 each day)
Where: Sunnyside Retreat Centre near Sylvan Lake, AB

Upcoming Conferences

Public Interest Alberta's 12th Annual Advocacy Conference

Public Interest Alberta's 12th annual conference takes place April 5 - 6, 2018 at the Chateau Louis in Edmonton. Our conference theme is "Alberta at the Crossroads: Forward, Not Back." We have confirmed our keynote speaker, Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council and editor of Tax is Not a Four-Letter Word. He will deliver his keynote address on April 5 in Edmonton as well as April 4 in Calgary. Conference cost is $140 for PIA members and $180 for non-members. Click here for more information or to register.

When: April 5-6, 2018
Where: Chateau Louis Hotel and Conference Centre, Edmonton, AB

Inclusion Alberta Annual Family Conference

Full day workshops will be offered on Friday, April 13 on "Leadership for Creating and Sustaining Inclusive Schools for ALL" presented by Julie Causton, Ph.D, and "Customized Employment: Creating and Sustaining Inclusive Employment" presented by Beth Keeton, M.S. Other session topics include inclusive play, humanistic supports for students with challenging behaviours, sibling relationships, strategies for enabling community inclusion, supported decision-making as an alternative to guardinaship, self-employment, microboards, advocacy challenges and trends. Registration is now open. Click here for more details.

When: April 13 - 14, 2018
Where: Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall

Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) Annual Spring Conference

The theme this year is Navigating the who we are! The Community Disability Services sector began its voyage a couple of generations ago and together we've made great progress. Armed with a vision and a mission, we set sail on uncharted waters and have navigated shifting tides, been buoyed by many periods of smooth sailing, and have occasionally been adrift in the fog. The purpose of Spring Conference 2018 is to inspire our teams on the next leg of the journey. Join us for the this leg of our journey! Follow the links to the Conference Program or to register for the conference.

When: May 7-9, 2018
Where: Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, Edmonton, AB

Canadian Mental Health Association - Alberta (CMHA)

The theme of the Annual Community Mental Health Conference this year is Now We Are Stronger. The conference is two days of information exchange and dialogue that will advance the work in our dynamic fields. It brings together the most creative and inspiring mental health thinkers and leaders in the field. This year’s conference will focus on three key streams:

  • Indigenous mental health
  • Rural and remote community mental health; and
  • Child, youth and family mental health

Click here for details. Click here to register.

When: June 4-5, 2018
Where: Doubletree Hilton Hotel West Edmonton, AB

23rd Annual National Supported Employment Conference (CASE)

The theme of the Annual Supported Employment Conference is Investing in Inclusion. The focus of this conference is to bring together employers and professionals in an arena to demonstrate the value and business case in hiring a diverse team that focuses on people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups. The conference will provide  practical methods for recruiting, hiring and retaining a diverse team in today’s fast moving economy. Click here for more information and to register.

When: June 19-21, 2018
Where: Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax, NS

Available Training - Anytime, Anywhere

Improving Workplace Health & Safety for Temporary Foreign Workers and Other New-to-Alberta Workers

Some workers find it difficult to speak up about workplace health and safety issues.  New Alberta Workers provides resources and support so workers can access information and exercise their rights. Topics include

  • Information about occupational health and safety
  • How to identify workplace dangers and hazards
  • Rights and Responsibilities – The Three Worker Rights
  • The "right to refuse" process
  • The best ways workers can protect themselves
  • Resources (where to get help) including Workers’ Compensation Board

Workshop content is tailored to each group's need and the work of disability workers is well-understood. Workshop facilitators can deliver the program in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Russian and Tagalog.

Length: 1.5 - 3 hours any day of the week (including weekends) or time of day (including evenings)

Cost: Free

Maximum number of participants in a session: 20

Contact: Lori (New Alberta Workers) at or 1-888-729-4879 (toll free)


Supporting Healthy Sexuality in People with Developmental Disabilities

Participants will define sexuality in a broad context, explore their own attitudes about sexuality and get practical ideas for engaging individuals they support in conversations about their sexual health and well-being. This workshop will also help professionals set boundaries around what is appropriate behaviour, clarify age of consent guidelines and make referrals to community resources.

Length: 3 hours

Contact: Becky Van Tassel (Calgary Sexual Health Centre) at or 403-283-5580 ext 323