Programs & Courses

Deaf and Blind Support Services

About This Program

For official information, please consult the MHC calendar. Download a program planning guide here. Intervenor (2011-2012) Hearing Assistant (2011-2012) Vision Assistant (2011-2012)

Our Deaf and Blind Support Services (DBSS) program is offered exclusively via distributed learning, which means that some of the courses are on-line, some are traditional distance and some are completed in the classroom. DBSS prepares you to serve as the eyes and ears of children and adults who have vision or hearing impairments, or the dual-sensory disability of deafblindness. You will learn to help people communicate and become more independent, and also assist them with the activities of daily living. The program offers three distinct paths:  

 

Hearing Assistant

This one-year certificate prepares you to work in the school system with children who are Deaf or hard of hearing. You will build sign language and other skills required of a Hearing Assistant, build a fundamental knowledge of language and speech development and technology as it applies to deaf and hard of hearing children, and develop skills necessary to work in a classroom setting.  

 

Vision Assistant

This one-year certificate prepares you to work in the school system with students who are blind or visually impaired. You will develop skills in Braille, sighted guide techniques, technology as it applies to students who are visually impaired, and other skills necessary to work in a classroom or early intervention settings.  

 

Intervenor for Deafblind Persons

Completing this two-year diploma will provide you with a variety of specialized techniques of communication and intervention which support the independence of Deafblind individuals. This program, one of the few offered in North America, was developed in partnership with a number of organizations and associations such as CDBA (Canadian Deafblind Association), RCMDB (Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf-Blind) and the public education system. You will test the knowledge you develop in the classroom with practical learning experiences in group homes, early intervention settings, school systems, hospitals, and with families.  

 

You may also choose to continue your education by taking advantage of a block transfer agreement between the Intervenor program and the University of Calgary’s rehabilitation program.

Graduates of this program have more opportunities than ever! With the advent of increased inclusion of students with special needs in classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 12, graduates of the Hearing Assistant or Vision Assistant certificate programs are likely to find work. For students in the Intervenor diploma program, work is available in schools, group homes, or through many agencies which support individuals who are deafblind.

Hearing Assistant Certificate

CHPC 120 Child Development I+
CHPC 122 Interpersonal Relations I+
DBSS 100 Introduction to Working with Individuals who are Deaf /Deafblind/Blind*
DBSS 101 Introduction to Sensory Loss (Hearing Assistant) *
EDAS 101 The Education Assistant in the Classroom+
EDAS 108 Assisting with Numeracy+
ENGL 123 Fundamentals of Writing and Speech+
DBSS 120 Signed Exact English I*
OR
DBSS 160 Introduction to American Sign Language*CHPC 121 Child Development II: An Introduction to Children with Special Needs+
DBSS 122 Signing Issues*
DBSS 150 Speech & Language Issues and Intervention*
EDAS 105 Children with Sensory Impairments +
DBSS 170 Educational Setting Practicum*
DBSS 121 Signing Exact English II++
OR
DBSS 161 American Sign Language I+
DBSS 180 Educational Setting Practicum*

Vision Assistant Certificate

CHPC 120 Child Development I+
CHPC 122 Interpersonal Relations I+
DBSS 100 Introduction to Working with Individuals who are Deaf /Deafblind/Blind*
DBSS 102 Introduction to Sensory Loss (Vision Assistant)*
DBSS 110 Introduction to Contracted Braille*
DBSS 130 An Introduction to Sighted Guide Strategies*
EDAS 101 The Education Assistant in the Classroom+
EDAS 108 Assisting with Numeracy+
ENGL 123 Fundamentals of Writing and Speech+
CHPC 121 Child Development II: An Introduction to Children with Special Needs+
DBSS 150 Speech & Language Issues and Intervention*
DBSS 170 Educational Setting Practicum*
DBSS 211 Braille Beyond Contractions*
DBSS 217 Accessibility and Adapted Techniques*
EDAS 105 Children with Sensory Impairments+
DBSS 180 Educational Setting Practicum*

Intervenor for DeafBlind Persons Diploma

CHPC 120 Child Development I+
DBSS 100 Introduction to Working with Individuals who are Deaf /Deafblind/Blind
DBSS 103 Introduction to Dual Sensory Impairment (Intervenor for Deafblind Persons)*
DBSS 110 Introduction to Contracted Braille*
DBSS 130 An Introduction to Sighted Guide Strategies *
DBSS 160 Introduction to American Sign Language*
EDAS 108 Assisting with Numeracy+
ENGL 123 Fundamentals of Writing and Speech+
DBSS 150 Speech & Language Issues and Intervention*
DBSS 161 American Sign Language I*
DBSS 211 Braille Beyond Contractions*
DBSS 217 Accessibility and Adapted Techniques*
EDAS 105 Children with Sensory Impairments+
ENGL 125 Introductory Report Writing and Speech 
DBSS 170 Educational Setting Practicum*
OR
DBSS 175 Community Setting Practicum*
ANTH 213 Contemporary Aboriginal Issues in Canada+
CHPC 121 Child Development II: An Introduction to Children with Special Needs+
CHPC 122 Interpersonal Relations I+
DBSS 165 Deaf Culture*
DBSS 205 Guidelines for Intervenors; Augmentative Communication & Other Practical Skills*
DBSS 260 American Sign Language II*
DBSS 299 Challenges and Issues for Support Services*
DBSS 270 Practicum*
DBSS 280 Practicum*

+ Available on-campus or in a DL format or eCampusAlberta
* Available through distributed learning or eCampusAlberta

You are normally expected to complete the courses in the sequence outlined in the calendar but you may develop your own course sequence which should be approved by the Coordinator.

Continuation Requirements

In order to be a continuing student of record in the Hearing Assistant Certificate, you must obtain:

  • A C+ (2.3) in each practicum related course including DBSS 170 and DBSS 180.
  • A C (2.0) in all other required courses before you are permitted to take additional required courses.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed before moving on to the next core DBSS courses.

In order to be a continuing student of record in the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Diploma, you must obtain:

  • A C+ (2.3) in each practicum related course including DBSS 170 or DBSS 175 and DBSS 280.
  • A C (2.0) in all other required courses before you are permitted to take additional required courses.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed before moving on to the next core DBSS courses.

In order to be a continuing student of record in the Vision Assistant Certificate, you must obtain:

  • A C+ (2.3) in each practicum related course including DBSS 170 and DBSS 180.
  • A C (2.0) in all other required courses before you are permitted to take additional required courses.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed before moving on to the next core DBSS courses.

Graduation Requirements

To successfully complete the Hearing Assistant Certificate you must:

  • Attain a grade point average of C (2.0) or higher in DBSS courses.
  • Attain a grade of C+ (2.3) or higher in each practicum related course, including DBSS 170 and DBSS 180.
  • Maintain a C (2.0) grade average or a GPA of 2.0 in all other courses required to complete the program.

To successfully complete the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Diploma you must:

  • Attain a grade point average of C (2.0) or higher in DBSS courses.
  • Attain a grade of C+ (2.3) or higher in each practicum related courses, including DBSS 170 or DBSS 175 and DBSS 280.
  • Maintain a C (2.0) grade average or a GPA of 2.0 in all other courses required to complete the program.

To successfully complete the Vision Assistant Certificate you must:

  • Attain a grade point average of C (2.0) or higher in DBSS courses.
  • Attain a grade of C+ (2.3) or higher in each practicum related courses, including DBSS 170 and DBSS 180.
  • Maintain a C (2.0) grade average or a GPA of 2.0 in all other courses required to complete the program.

Learning Systems

Online
Medicine Hat College uses the BlackBoard Learning System for online learning.  This is a Web-based server software platform that provides a venue for housing courses of instruction on the Web.  When you register for courses that are online, you will be given access to your course in BlackBoard.

Modules
This refers to traditional correspondence course formats.  Medicine Hat College is working to convert all courses to the online format in the future.

Blended Learning
This refers to offering part of the course work online with weekend workshops organized for practical experience skills development.  We will do our best to bring the instructors to you and others in your area.  However, when students numbers are limited in your area, we will offer these skill-based courses through summer institute courses at pre-arranged locations in Alberta.

 

Practicum

You are selected for practicum on the basis of academic performance, professional suitability, fitness an conduct and availability of practicum sites.

In order to ensure the protection of clients, you are required to provide up-to-date child welfare and criminal record checks, at your expense, prior to entry into practicum placements.  You are also responsible for providing copies of the Child Welfare and Police Information Checks to practicum supervisors prior to starting placements.  A current First Aid Certificate and Health Immunization Record will be required in practicum placements.  Should the program coordinator judge, in consultation with faculty, that there is evidence that you are professionally unsuitable or a risk to clients, the coordinator may prohibit you from attending or completing a practicum.

Scholarship Info

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Funding Your Education

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