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Employment Supports Specialty

If you want to upgrade your skills for a rewarding career supporting people who have disabilities or other barriers to finding employment, the Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate is for you.

This online-only program is the first program of its kind in Canada and fulfills a training gap for people who assist youth and adults with significant employment barriers in finding and enhancing their employment outcomes.
Geared toward students and working professionals, this part-time program offers you the ability to study anywhere in Canada while maintaining your work/life balance.

Program overview

The Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate program is designed to provide you with a solid foundation in contemporary perspectives on disability in relation to vocational supports and services for youth at risk and people with disabilities, mental illness and other employment barriers.
Theoretical frameworks and employment supports models are the focus from which evidence-based methods and practices are examined and applied in the context of your work environments.
The program has been structured to address the training needs of practitioners employed in the education and human service field as well as professionals whose work aligns with enhancing employment outcomes for these diverse populations.

Information sessions run September-May. See our information sessions page for more information regarding dates, times and registration. 

For more information about the Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate, email or call 604 527 5612.

For information about admission requirements, courses, intake dates and more, visit the Program and Course Catalogue


Elective Options:

The Employment Supports Specialty Advanced Certificate courses have been approved as transfer credit to the following educational institutions:

UBC - Special Education Department

Kwantlen Polytechnic University - Bachelor of Applied Arts in Psychology

University of Calgary - Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

University of the Fraser Valley - Bachelor of Adult Education


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"The ESS diploma was such an interesting course for me. It has helped me professionally to think creatively in assisting front line managers to adapt and modify work duties for employees with acquired temporary or permanent disability, and it has helped me as a parent of a teen with an intellectual disability to navigate and advocate for him as he transitions into early adulthood. 
The course has had a lasting impact for me and not a day goes by where I don't notice an "ableist" or cringe that a co worker didn't use "people first" language, or consider if the building I am in is truly accessible to all and if it isn't how could it become more accessible."  - ESS Grad and Award of Distinction Recipient

"The Employment Support Specialty Program has offered me the opportunity to upgrade my skills in an area of passion.  It is convenient and student centered with knowledgeable instructors.  It is also a great fit for me as a mature student and busy Mum." - ESS Student

More About Employment Supports Specialty

Overcoming barriers

Pippin Brown ESS student Pippin Brown helps her clients find meaningful jobs. Read more