ADWA – Your Professional Association

More than 15,000 community disability service workers in Alberta are united by the common goal to provide services that support people with disabilities to have the highest quality of life possible as part of their communities. ADWA exists to build recognition of the professionals who work in this field, and to help them build careers that are supported by relevant education and enhanced certification processes based on recognized core competency standards. ADWA advocates for fair compensation for community disability service workers, and for government regulations that support fair treatment, health and safety of those workers.


The concept of a professional association for community disability service workers was launched at the 2009 Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) Conference and received the support of 94% of the sector. The Alberta Disability Workers Association (ADWA) was registered as a non-profit Association in Alberta in June 2010.

The original Steering Committee articulated items for this new Association to focus on. They included:

  • Building an identity as a valued community disability services workforce
  • Establishing, maintaining and enforcing a Code of Ethics
  • Providing direction and regulating the profession
  • Maintaining and determining benchmarks for competence and working with providers and other employers to ensure competencies are maintained
  • Establishing, maintaining and enforcing standards for registration, continuing competence and standards of practice
  • Advocating for its membership and articulating the issues specific to people employed in community disability services to relevant parties
  • Establishing membership criteria
  • Promoting good practice through partnerships with organizations that advocate for a disability services agenda.

Since 2010, ADWA has been dedicated to supporting a valued, respected and skilled workforce in many ways.

  • Taking on a leadership role as the recognized provincial voice for people employed in community disability services
  • Being a strong advocate for fair compensation and educational opportunities
  • Developing a Code of Professional Ethics & Conduct
  • Developing core competency standards for community disability workers
  • Developing and piloting a certification process
  • Hosting information and panel discussions