Core Course Descriptions

Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM)

The degree involves 120 credits. These include 78 specialized credits relating to the area and 42 electives. Electives can be taken online through our partnering institutions or students may use previously earned credits from one and two year college programs or other university-level credit programs to fill the elective requirements.

BDM courses are listed below. Full details of BDM courses can be viewed in the Academic Calendar.

The purpose of this course is to explore the field of workplace health sciences and to provide an understanding of the interaction between work, the workplace, workers and society at large in creating an environment in which the health and safety, work capacity and well-being of people in the workplace is enhanced, maintained, supported or diminished. Issues that determine how workplace health is managed, contributing factors, and the role of stakeholders will be explored. The emergence of health and safety, disability management and wellness programs in the workplace will also be examined.

The purpose of this course is to develop applied knowledge of physiological, biomechanical and psychomotor behaviour principles as they apply to work. This course provides a multidisciplinary introduction to physiological systems from the standpoint of the work context. The students will situate their learning about the body at work in different work situations. It provides a direct applied focus so students can tie their knowledge to supporting employee health in the workplace. The course will explore the interaction between work and physical health and well-being, and the effectiveness of workplace strategies developed to maintain worker health and capacity and to respond to problems.

This course provides a multidisciplinary introduction to the interaction between psychological, cognitive and emotional processes and work activities and demands. It provides an insight into the dynamic interaction between an individual and work using a biopsychosocial perspective on mental functioning. It distinguishes between the brain and the mind and explores the meaning of work in our lives. Basic and complex cognitive processes are explored including perception, attention, memory, knowledge, language, problem-solving, reasoning and decision-making. Organizational factors and strategies that lead to good mental health functioning are introduced. It addresses strategies and coping skills that support resilience in the face of stress and the workplace factors that contribute to or inhibit the development of an employee’s healthy personal growth. It examines characteristics of psychologically healthy workplaces and programs to promote the mental well being of workers.

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the field of disability management and an understanding of program development and administration; an examination of the return-to-work process, including service coordination, and accommodation planning and implementation; and an awareness of alternative employment planning when a worker cannot return to his or her former workplace.

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the field of occupational health, including the major components of an occupational health and safety program and management system. Processes related to identifying, measuring and mitigating risks to health and safety will be explored.

The purpose of this course is to provide an in depth analysis of the scope and focus of disability policy and legislation from a societal perspective using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a framework. It will provide students with a grounding in the regulatory framework within  which disability policy is deployed through legislation and regulation in a number of areas that are central to disability management including independent living and mobility, education, health, rehabilitation, employment, adequate living standards and social protection. Legal cases that have set precedents in the field will be reviewed and analyzed. Students will critique the application of disability policy and legislation in terms of their impact on equality of participation and full citizenship for persons with disabilities and the role that Disability Management can play in achieving these aspirations.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the human resources functions within an organization, and how these functions interface with and relate to the maintenance of the health and safety, work capacity, and well-being of people in the workplace.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to health promotion and workplace wellness, within the context of population health. The course addresses population health determinants with a particular emphasis on employment and employment-related factors. Students will learn about theories related to individual health behaviours, and the role of workplace wellness and culture as factors influencing the physical and mental health of workers. Considerations that influence decisions about program components and their evaluation will be discussed.

The purpose of this course is to expand awareness and knowledge of multiple issues related to organizational development and change. It will enable students to understand the principles and tools employed in organizational change initiatives, and to identify the role of program managers in implementing, assisting with and responding to changes in vision, focus, attitudes, organization and activities and policies.

The purpose of this course is to explore a workplace health science issue relevant to a work sector. Students will be expected to identify a work sector and a relevant issue such as prevention of injury, disability or promotion of health in the workplace. Students will do a literature review of grey, policy and evidence literature and develop a website to share that organizes knowledge and summaries key information to promote and share the knowledge on a workplace issue within a work sector.

The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation of professional ethics as part of preparation for practicums in the workplace. This is an introduction to professional ethics and a philosophical treatment of ethical principles and ethical theories. The course also looks at the development of applied ethics in contemporary fields, like social work, medicine and healthcare, bioethics, disability management, and human resources. All material is grounded in exercises, initially within the context of reasoning, ethical theory and decision-making and later with more specificity with respect to the field of disability management.

The purpose of this course is for students to identify a workplace exemplar and to develop a case study using an appropriate methodology on how a workplace is using best practice or standards to support positive workplace health outcomes.

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for participation in the practicum stream, including how to conduct oneself appropriately in the workplace; how to search for a practicum; how to write introductory letters and negotiate the duties; how to identify the training required in the workplace; how to write a proposal for practicum processes and how they will be implemented in the third and fourth year of the program; and how to participate in physical or mental health first aid, WHMIS, or other training as appropriate preparation for going on site. Students will propose a project and presentation to be completed in the third and fourth year of the program.

Prerequisite: WHDM 212

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of communication, with a focus on the use of effective communication techniques in individual and group situations in the workplace.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of physical disabilities, their impact on work activities, and how workers can be accommodated to mitigate the effects of work disability.

In this course, students will examine vocational rehabilitation processes that can be implemented when a physical or mental health condition prevents workers from returning to the job that they carried out prior to incurring a disability. These processes include providing appropriate assessments and counselling to identify an optimum career/job direction; a search for resources, including training opportunities, job coaching, the development of job search skills, and supportive assistive devices and technologies; and identifying funding sources for implementing the vocational rehabilitation plan.

The purpose of this course is to examine the legal underpinnings of disability management established in international treaties, national, federal and provincial law and regulation. Workplace practices that are commonly governed by statutes and regulations in most jurisdictions and the issues and rationale underlying the legislation will be analyzed. Common provisions developed in response to workplace issues and the legislative requirements that underpin the source or cause of the workplace disability, the legal boundaries within which employers and unions are required to operate, and the requirements on the employee will be compared. Students will examine the specific employment and workplace legislation in their own jurisdictions, the regulations through which the legislation is implemented, and how these affect organizational practices. Processes related to identifying, measuring and mitigating risks to health and safety will be explored.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to interviewing techniques that are effective in a workplace health context. Participants will explore and demonstrate communication skills that they can use to uncover challenges and opportunities and develop effective responses to both. Models of helping and the potential and limitations of the helping role will be explored.

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of adverse mental health conditions in general, and from a workplace perspective. Students will examine the concept of mental illness and explore common mental health impairments, including their impact on the workplace, potential treatments, and strategies for retention and return to work.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the theoretical and practical background to identify and record job demands, interpret assessment reports, determine when there is a mismatch between individual capacity and job demands, and eliminate these through accommodation planning.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to workplace data collection and analysis activities, and to the role of statistical analysis in general. An overview of how and why data is collected in the workplace, and the role of data analysis in organizational and program decision making, will be followed by a general introduction to statistics and methods of analysis that are used to interpret data. Basic descriptive and inferential statistical techniques will be presented in the context of their use in the workplace.

The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation in research skills, with a focus on those that are applicable to the workplace. Topics include the literature review as an underpinning for research questions and approaches, and commonly used research methodologies, including case analysis, action research, correlational research methods, and quasi-experimental and experimental research methods.

The purpose of this course is to examine the role of a manager, the management environment, and the skills and knowledge required to perform management functions. Students will also explore the application of management functions to workplace programs, including return to work, occupational health and safety and wellness programs.

Prerequisite: WHDM 209

The purpose of this course is designed to introduce students to the foundations of disability management based on the current guidelines and principles of practice. It will provide students with broad understanding of the field of disability management, the approaches that are employed in returning a worker with a disability to a job, and the interaction between the disability management program and a range of internal and external stakeholders. It will introduce students to the relevant research from a broad range of disciplines including disability management, social work, occupational therapy, ergonomics, mental health, occupational health, case management and business trends.

The purpose of this course is to gain 160 hours in the workplace in the field of disability management at an introductory level.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the score of ergonomics and the application of ergonomic principles to work organization. It includes an overview of concepts and related theory and ergonomic assessment processes, and the identification and application of solutions.

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the labour movement international and national and regional frameworks, and how unions operate in representing workers and interacting with management. The focus of the course is on how the union movement has contributed to improving working conditions, occupational health and safety and on behalf of injured workers; training and advocacy initiatives; labour efforts in return to work and accommodation; mechanisms of participation, labour’s critique of employer wellness and Behaviour Based Safety Programs. Factors affecting potential for cooperation between the employers and labour and critical issues for labour in occupational health and safety, accommodation and return to work are reviewed.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to case management and service coordination from both a general and return to work focus. This is the process whereby one individual acts as the central liaison and facilitator for the delivery to clients of a range of services, including services that can facilitate a return to work. Models of case management will be examined and key challenges explored.

This course introduces students to the application of economics concepts to workplace health initiatives. Students will consider the costs and benefits to individuals, organizations, and society (as represented by governments, and quasi-governmental agencies) when occupational health and safety programs, disability management programs and wellness programs are in place or are improved.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the field of ethics, the role of the Disability Management Professional and the application of ethics to workplace issues.   There will be a focus on the CDMP Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct document and how it applies to providing disability management services. The course will cover concept specific information in ethics and examples or points of contact between concept specific information and the disability management profession. Through individual work and group discussions, students will move from obtaining information to potential application in their professional work lives.   Students will work through the CDMP Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct document to determine the potential application to disability management services.

The purpose of this course is to examine the skills and knowledge required for case management and service coordination, along with problem solving processes used in complex situations. The client’s role as the centre of the process will be explored. Students will also consider issues related to diversity, lack of client commitment to the process, and ethics and law.

Prerequisite: WHDM 403

The purpose of this course is to provide participants with tools to negotiate differences in the workplace and resolve conflicts on an individual and an organizational level.

The purpose of this course is to explore the types of workplace insurance that are commonly available, along with questions about how insurance is funded, how benefits are calculated, and who provides the insurance – whether private, public or some combination of the two. Participants will be expected to apply concepts of their own jurisdictions.

The purpose of this course is to examine factors that affect the nature of work and how it is performed. This will include technological change, work organization, the divide between rote work and more cognitively complex tasks, globalization and organizational mobility, and the use of outsourcing and temporary employees. There will be an emphasis on how the transformation of work in the contemporary world of work impacts upon the field and practice of disability management.

The purpose of this course is to have students work with a faculty advisor to choose a project that may involve practical experience or critical analysis of disability management practice at an individual or organizational level. In addition to standard qualitative or quantitative research or evaluation designs, both personal practice and single case study designs in collaboration with another person are acceptable. The student will complete a literature review of the area that has been identified, develop a methodology, produce a structured proposal and formulate a project management plan.

Prerequisites: Completion of all other courses in the learning plan

Students will work with a faculty adviser to choose a project that may involve practical experience or critical analysis of disability management practice at an individual or organizational level. In addition to standard qualitative or quantitative research or evaluation designs, both personal practice and single case study designs in collaboration with another person are acceptable. The student will complete a literature review of the area that has been identified, develop a methodology, produce a structured proposal and formulate a project management plan. (May be a continuation of 401a).

Preprequisite: Completion of all other courses in the learning plan.

The purpose of this course is to gain 160 hours in the workplace in the field of disability management at an advanced level.

Prerequisites: WHDM 314

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