Instructors and Teachers of Persons with Disabilities

(NOC 4215)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities teach children and adults using a variety of techniques to facilitate communication, rehabilitation, social skills and increased independence. Instructors and teachers of disabled persons may teach reading and writing braille and sign language, or may assist individuals with physical or mental disabilities to develop life skills. They are employed in rehabilitation centres, specialized educational institutes and throughout the public school system.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4880 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Instructors of Persons with Disabilities most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 60% of Instructors of Persons with Disabilities who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $48,496. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$20.51

Median

$48.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,316

Minimum

$44,256

Median

$83,227

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.88

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities teach children and adults using a variety of techniques to facilitate communication, rehabilitation, social skills and increased independence. Instructors and teachers of disabled persons may teach reading and writing braille and sign language, or may assist individuals with physical or mental disabilities to develop life skills. They are employed in rehabilitation centres, specialized educational institutes and throughout the public school system.

Job duties

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop individualized education and intervention plans based on special needs and learning style of the student to facilitate their re-adaptation and independence objectives.
  • Assess individuals in areas such as physical limitations, orientation and mobility skills, and cognitive, social and emotional barriers to establish client rehabilitation or adaptation goals.
  • Assist individuals with physical, intellectual, visual and hearing disabilities or multiple disorders to develop life skills and provide job training.
  • Instruct individuals with disabilities and their families in the use of rehabilitative techniques, prosthetic devices, wheelchairs and other equipment designed to maximize clients' independence and potential.
  • Instruct persons with a visual impairment in reading and writing braille and in the use of special equipment or supports such as human or animal guides, long canes and other adaptive mobility devices.
  • Instruct persons who are hard of hearing or deaf in lip-reading, finger spelling and sign language according to individual communication needs.
  • Instruct persons who are hard of hearing or deaf in the formation and development of sounds for speech using hearing aids, and other devices and techniques.
  • Facilitate communication between the student and their peers.
  • Collaborate with children, parents, schools, and other professionals to coordinate services and develop programs for students' special needs.

Sample job titles

  • Autism specialist
  • behaviour support teacher
  • braille instructor
  • instructor of persons with a mobility impairment
  • instructor of persons with disabilities
  • instructor of persons with special needs
  • language acquisition support worker - ASL
  • learning centre teacher
  • orientation and mobility instructor
  • rehabilitation teacher
  • resource teacher
  • sign language teacher
  • special education technician - persons with disabilities
  • teacher of persons who are blind or visually impaired
  • teacher of persons who are deaf or hearing impaired

Skills

To work in this field, you should be patient, imaginative, objective, and resourceful. Leadership skills and the ability to motivate students are important. You must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to communicate ideas in a clear, concise, and interesting way, both orally and in writing. Planning, problem solving, and organizational skills are also necessary. Experience and training in early childhood education may be required. Instructors must be knowledgeable about their subjects and keep informed of new material or methods of teaching.

Job requirements

  • Completion of a college program in special education, rehabilitation, orientation and mobility, visual impairment, hearing impairment or intellectual disability is required.
  • A bachelor's degree in special education or a related field such as social work or psychology may be required.
  • Nova Scotia Teacher Certification is required for teachers working with students with disabilities in the public school system.
  • Teachers who work in the public school system require a Master’s degree in their area of specialization.
  • Membership in a provincial association or union may be required.

Other considerations

Both part-time and self-employment are relatively common for this group. A valid driver’s licence and regular travel with personal vehicle may be required for some jobs in this group. You must be comfortable working in a variety of settings (e.g. schools, preschools, in the home).

By the numbers

Quick look

330

employed in 2016

94.1%

employed full-time

6.1%

self employed

86.1%
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13.9%
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40

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

79.3%

employed full-time

6.5%

self employed

64.0%
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36%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

41.7%

Halifax

18.1%

Southern

13.9%

Northern

13.9%

Cape Breton

13.9%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

55.4%

Health Care and Social Assistance

35.4%

Educational Services

6.2%

Other Industries

3.1%

Public Administration

What is the age of Employment?

37.0%

25-34

25.9%

45-54

22.2%

35-44

7.4%

15-24

7.4%

55-64

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

36.6%

35-44

29.3%

45-54

24.4%

55-64

4.9%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

35.2%

Bachelor's degree

$21,337 median annual income
31.0%

Doctorate

N/A
22.5%

College certificate or diploma

$25,081 median annual income
5.6%

High school

$13,311 median annual income
2.8%

Trades certificate

$22,251 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

29.2%

Bachelor's degree

$43,533 median annual income
21.5%

College certificate or diploma

$28,183 median annual income
17.2%

Master's degree

$35,978 median annual income
14.3%

High school

$25,801 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$60,991 median annual income

Education & training

American Sign Language (ASL)

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on American Sign Language as a visual and motor medium of communication and discourse for deaf individuals and deaf culture. These programs include courses in the development of ASL, ASL morphology and syntax, signing technique, English translation of ASL, formal and colloquial ASL, and ASL transcription.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Applied behaviour analysis

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the application of principles of learning and behaviour to enhance the development, abilities, and choices of children and adults; and that prepares individuals to address the behavioural needs of individuals, especially those with developmental disabilities and autism. These programs include courses in behaviour analysis and learning, behavioural and functional assessment, developmental psychology, applied behavioural analysis in developmental disabilities and autism, applied behavioural analysis in mental health and aging, research methods, evaluation of interventions, and professional and ethical issues.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Deaf studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the sociological, historical and linguistic aspects of the deaf and hearing impaired, and that prepares individuals to work with the deaf and hearing impaired. These programs include courses in sign language, deaf studies, deaf culture, structure of sign language, history of the deaf community, and civil rights of deaf people.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Education of individuals with multiple disabilities

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with multiple disabilities which adversely affect their educational performance and that prepares individuals to teach such students. These programs include courses in identifying students with multiple disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising multiple handicapped students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Education of students who are blind or visually impaired

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with visual disabilities which adversely affect their educational performance and that prepares individuals to teach such students. These programs include courses in identifying students with visual impairments, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising blind or visually handicapped students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with hearing impairments including deafness which adversely affect their educational performance, and that prepares individuals to teach such students. These programs include courses in identifying students with hearing impairments, including deafness, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising hearing-impaired students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Education of students with autism

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with autism, and that prepares individuals to teach such students. These programs include courses in identifying students with autism, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising autistic students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Psychology - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any general program that focuses on the scientific study of individual and collective behaviour, the physical and environmental bases of behaviour, and the analysis and treatment of behaviour problems and disorders. These programs include courses in the principles of the various subfields of psychology, research methods, and psychological assessment and testing methods.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Social work - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals for the professional practice of social welfare administration and counselling, and that focuses on the study of organized means of providing basic support services for vulnerable individuals and groups. These programs include courses in social welfare policy; case work planning; social counselling and intervention strategies; administrative procedures and regulations; and specific applications in areas such as child welfare and family services, probation, employment services, and disability counselling.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Special education and teaching - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any general program that focuses on the design and provision of teaching and other educational services to children or adults with special learning needs or disabilities, and that prepares individuals to function as special education teachers. These programs include courses in diagnosing learning disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising special education students, special education counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Teacher

Special Requirements: To work in the public school system Nova Scotia Teacher Certification is required. Certification may be required by other education related employers.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, Office of Teacher Certification
2021 Brunswick Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(902) 424-6620
(902) 424-3814
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Professional Designation (Voluntary): Professional designation exists and shows that the holder has met the standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, however, professional designation is not necessary to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Behavior Analyst Certification Board
7950 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127
(720) 438-4321
(720) 438-4321

Contacts

Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada
110- 39012 Discovery Way
Squamish, BC, V8B 0E5
Tel: (604) 617-8502
Fax: (604) 567-8502
Canadian National Institute for the Blind - NS, PEI
6136 Almon St.
Halifax, NS B3K 1T8
Tel: (902) 453-1480
Fax: (902) 454-6570
Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA)
5940 South Street Halifax
Halifax, NS B3H 1S6
Tel: (902) 424-8500
Fax: (902) 423-8700
Autism in Education
5940 South Street Halifax
Halifax, NS B3H 1S6
Tel: (902) 423-8418
Fax: (902) 423-8700
Nova Scotia Teachers Union
3106 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4L7
Tel: (902) 477-5621
Fax: (902) 477-3517
Canadian Teachers' Federation
2490 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, ON K1H 1E1
Tel: (613) 232-1505
Fax: (613) 232-1886

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.