Renewed Scholarship Supports Inclusive Employment Specialists

October 31st, 2017

VANCOUVER – Community Living BC (CLBC) and the Douglas College Foundation (DCF) announced today they have renewed a partnership that is providing $10,000 in scholarships to support BC students who specialize in helping adults with developmental disabilities to locate and retain employment.

The purpose of the scholarship is to build capacity of qualified employment specialists in communities across the province so more of the people who are served by CLBC can find and keep employment, the key goal of CLBC’s Community Action Employment Plan.

“We are pleased to again be partnering with Douglas College Foundation to support students who are dedicated to improving employment outcomes for the adults we serve,” said Seonag Macrae, CEO of CLBC.  “We are excited about the difference these inclusive employment specialists will make in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.”

The Employment Supports Speciality Advanced Certificate (ESS) program at Douglas College is the first in Canada dedicated to supporting and increasing inclusive workforce development for people who live with a disability.

The program consists of five courses offered part- time over two to three semesters, and is completely online so those living in remote locations can access the program.

“Douglas College’s program is a frontrunner in its field and the only such program that I have come across,” says Dr. Jonathan Vincent, Senior Lecturer, York St. John University, England.

“The Faculty team’s commitment to improving practice, professional experience, and strong intellectual knowledge base are reflected in their students’ extremely positive experiences of learning on the program and, more broadly, by the positive outcomes for those seeking employment.”

The scholarships were launched in 2014, and over the last three years CLBC and DCF have provided over $20,000 in scholarships to students who are enrolled in the ESS program. Eligible students are each awarded $1,000 to recognize academic excellence. The renewal of CLBC’s and DCF’s partnership extends the scholarship program until spring 2019.

“The Douglas College Foundation is grateful for our partnership with CLBC and thanks to their generous commitment and support, Douglas College students in the ESS program will have a significant impact on the lives of those with developmental disabilities,” said Leanne Poon, Executive Director, Douglas College Foundation.

Application for the scholarship is open only to students already enrolled in the college’s Employment Supports Speciality Advanced Certificate Program.

The applications are reviewed by faculty on the Douglas College Disability & Community Studies Selection Committee, and students are selected based on their current grade point average, as well as the region they reside in; this approach to selection ensure capacity for supported employment is being built throughout BC.

Released in 2013, the CLBC Community Action Employment Plan is an on-going collaborative strategy that promotes inclusive and supportive employment opportunities.

Among other things, the plan supports coordination of local resources and development of community and service provider capacity to deliver supported employment services.

To learn more about the Community Action Employment Plan, visit

To learn more about the Douglas College employment supports speciality advanced certificate program, visit

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