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 support communication, rehabilitation, social skills, and increased independence. Instructors and teachers of disabled persons may teach reading and writing braille and sign language or may help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to develop life skills. They work in rehabilitation centres, specialized educational institutes, and throughout the public-school system.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate -5 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Instructors of Persons With Disabilities most commonly work full-time hours.

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

$14.72

Minimum

$23.73

Median

$41.73

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,316

Minimum

$44,256

Median

$83,227

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

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 support communication, rehabilitation, social skills, and increased independence. Instructors and teachers of disabled persons may teach reading and writing braille and sign language or may help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to develop life skills. They work in rehabilitation centres, specialized educational institutes, and throughout the public-school system.

Job duties

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities:

  • Develop individualized education and intervention plans based on special needs and learning style of the student to support their re-adaptation and independence objectives.
  • Assess individuals’ physical limitations, orientation and mobility skills, and cognitive, social, and emotional barriers to establish client rehabilitation or adaptation goals.
  • Help 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 like 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.
  • Support communication between the student and their peers.
  • Work 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

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

  • 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 like 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). These roles are demanding and require considerable physical, mental, and emotional energy.

By the numbers

Quick look

360

employed in 2016

91.7%

employed full-time

5.6%

self employed

86.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
13.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40

median age

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

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
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36%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

41.1%

Halifax

17.8%

Southern

13.7%

Annapolis Valley

13.7%

North Shore

13.7%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

59.0%

Health care and social assistance

37.7%

Educational services

3.3%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

37.0%

35-44

25.0%

25-34

21.0%

45-54

13.0%

55-64

4.0%

15-24

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

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

33.3%

Bachelor

$41,076 median annual income
29.2%

Master

$82,191 median annual income
23.6%

College Diploma

$37,702 median annual income
6.9%

High school

N/A
4.2%

Apprenticeship

N/A

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

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

American Sign Language (ASL)

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on American Sign Language as a visual and motor medium of communication and discourse for deaf individuals and deaf culture. They 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

Dartmouth, NS

Applied Behaviour Analysis

College or University Program

These programs focus on applying principles of learning and behaviour to enhance the development, abilities, and choices of children and adults and prepares students to address the behavioural needs of individuals, especially those with developmental disabilities and autism. They 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

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Education of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

College or University Program

These programs focus on the design of educational services for children or adults with visual disabilities that adversely affect their educational performance and that prepares individuals to teach such students. They 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

Halifax, NS

Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

College or University Program

These programs focus on the design of educational services for children or adults with hearing impairments including deafness that adversely affect their educational performance, and that prepares individuals to teach such students. They 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

Halifax, NS

Education of Students with Multiple Disabilities

College or University Program

These programs focus 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. They 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

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on the history, sociology, politics, culture, and economics of various racial and ethnic groups, women’s studies, gay/lesbian studies, folklore studies, disability studies, and deaf studies.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Psychology

College or University Program

These programs focus 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. They 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

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Social Work

College or University Program

These programs prepare students for the professional practice of social welfare administration and counselling, and focus on the study of organized means of providing basic support services for vulnerable individuals and groups. They include courses in social welfare policy, case work planning, social counselling and intervention strategies, administrative procedures and regulations, and specific applications in areas like child welfare and family services, probation, employment services, and disability counselling.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Special Education and Teaching - General

College or University Program

These programs focus 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. They 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

Wolfville, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Teacher

Special Requirements: Nova Scotia Teacher Certification is required to work in the public school system. 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: Professional designation exists and shows that the holder has met the standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

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

Contacts

Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada
Pickering, ON
Canadian National Institute for the Blind - NS, PEI
Various, NS
Nova Scotia Teachers Union
Halifax, NS
Canadian Teachers' Federation
Ottawa, ON
Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA)
Halifax, NS
Autism in Education
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.