Resources for Staff in Developmental Services

Having the right information or tool at the right time can make us more prepared for unexpected scenarios and challenges. Here are some resources that we have compiled for you.

Recognizing the Mental Health Needs of Direct Support Professionals An Essential Workforce 2022 Update : CLICK HERE 

Talking Wellness with Developmental Services Staff: A podcast mini-series

This podcast, brought to you by the Cultivating Community Wellness Initiative, is tailored for staff in Developmental Services with host, Sue Hutton, MSW, RSW. Sue is a mindfulness teacher and social worker who has both maintained a formal mindfulness practice, and worked in Developmental Services for over 30 years, Talking Wellness will explore mindfulness tools to support wellbeing for developmental services staff.

Listen on Spotify Listen on Apple Podcasts

Mindfulness for All: Accessible Mindfulness Video Series

Mindfulness for All is a video podcast series that shares new ways of practicing mindfulness made for direct support professionals and care providers in Developmental Services. Regardless of what setting you’re in, these techniques can be used to help a person’s mental health and well-being. Try turning mindfulness into an activity you can enjoy together. Regardless of the setting you’re in, the person with a disability in your life can gain some skills to calm, and the staff or care provider benefits too! This mindfulness series is hosted by Sue Hutton, a social worker and mindfulness practitioner, with 30 years of experience in Developmental Services.

COVID-19 Resources

CAMH: Resources for Health Care Workers During COVID-19

During this challenging time, prioritizing our mental health is as important as ever. CAMH is providing access to mental health and addiction supports for health care workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They recognize that in order to care for the people you support and their families, that you must also take care of yourself. Learn more

H-CARDD COVID Information: Staying safe, well and connected during COVID-19

In an effort to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, H-CARDD has been working to create and gather information and resources from around the world to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Their website includes easy-to-read information on COVID-19 and vaccination, managing stress and mental health, and more. Learn more

Health Care Resources

Nuts and Bolts of Health Care: A Toolkit for front-line DS Staff

The Nuts and Bolts of Health Care Toolkit is a health care resource for staff providing support and care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This toolkit includes various tools to help staff support better health and health care for the person they are supporting. It includes a compilation of original resources developed by H-CARDD, as well as curated resources from DDPCP, and other collaborators. The development of this toolkit was a joint effort between H-CARDD and Vita Community Living Services. Learn more

Family Matters Toolkit: For Caregivers and Family Members of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Family Matters Toolkit is a health care resource for families and caregivers of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who aim to improve their health and health care. This toolkit was developed by the H-CARDD Program and is an adaptation of the Nuts and Bolts Toolkit for front-line DS Staff. Browse the toolkit and various resources to learn more. Learn more

Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program

The Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program (DDPCP) is led out of Surrey Place in Toronto, Ontario. DDPCP aims to develop standards of care, resources and partnerships to improve health care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their website includes primary health care guidelines, education materials and resources for care providers, and more. Learn more

Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities

The H-CARDD Program is a research partnership based out of CAMH in Toronto, Ontario. H-CARDD is comprised of researchers, self-advocates and their families and caregivers with a shared mission to improve the health status and health care for this population. Learn more

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Commission of Canada, Mental health First Aid COVID-19 Self-Care and Resilience Guide

While the pandemic has changed many of our lives and how we work, many essential workers continue to go into the community or their workplace. These unprecedented times may bring challenges and difficult situations. This guide from the Mental Health Commision of Canada provides information on self-care strategies and collection of Canadian mental health resources. Learn more

Books Beyond Words

The Books Beyond Words series are a “wordless picture stories” with topics including physical and mental health, grief and bereavement, and more. These stories are co-created with and for people who find pictures easier to understand than words. Learn more

CAMH & University of Glasgow: COVID-19 Self help booklet series

The Self-help Booklet Series is for people with intellectual disabilities and can be used with the support of family members, friends, staff, and health care professionals. There is a how-to guide accompanying each booklet. The booklets are intended to give people with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to talk through their feelings and make plans for staying well at this difficult time. Learn more

Breaking Bad News

Breaking Bad News provides guidelines that can be used by service providers, families and caregivers to make the process of breaking bad news to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities easier. The guidelines are adaptable to the individual’s abilities and understanding and are an excellent resources for those working in health care and service provider roles. Learn more

General Resources

The Real Xchange

The Real Xchange is a hub for resources, knowledge exchange, collaboration and learning in the Developmental Services sector. Real Xchange’s vision is to bring agencies together to share information, tools and resources to best support people with intellectual disabilities. Learn more


ConnectABILITY is a website and virtual community to support lifelong learning for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as their families and support networks. ConnectABILITY provides accessible and valuable information and tools on various topics, organized by age group. Learn more