» Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual

Employment & Training Programs and Services

Published Date: October 06, 2021
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Career & Employment Information Services

Disability Related Employment Supports (DRES)

Education Supports


Government Organization Act
Workforce Development Agreement
Income and Employment Supports Act, Part 2 Section 12,
Disability-Related Employment Supports and Services Regulation


To assist eligible students with disabilities to participate in education and training.

Note: All policy, eligibility and responsibilities stated in the DRES Overview policy and the DRES Eligibility policy must be met and agreed to prior to issuance of DRES funding for supports and/or services.


DRES provides funding for supports/services to students with disabilities who are enrolled in an eligible educational institution and are:

  • attending full-time training, or
  • approved for a reduced course load, or
  • attending part-time training.

Eligible educational institutions may include:

  • a non-publicly funded post-secondary institution within Alberta; or
  • a post-secondary institution located outside of Alberta.

Note: Advanced Education (AE) provides funding to 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions under the Post-Secondary Learning Act for the accommodation of students with disabilities.

Students must attempt to access all other sources of funding prior to DRES, (if appropriate):


DRES Education supports may be issued to an individual when they are:


Assessing Eligibility

DRES Educational Supports fund educational programs to assist employment-destined individuals with disabilities to obtain employment and access viable career options.

DRES fund assistive technology to support eligible students with disabilities and is considered to be student-specific. The assistive technology belongs to the student.

  • A Service Plan must be developed outlining:
    • the supports and/or services needed by the student with a disability,
    • the period of time that DRES education supports will be provided,
    • the contribution from the educational institution and/or training provider,
    • the expected employment outcome for the supported educational program, and
    • the cost of the supports and services provided.

  • An eligible student who demonstrates acceptable progress towards their Service Plan may continue to receive DRES to the end of their Service Plan, providing that:
    • the need for the supports/services continues to be demonstrated,
    • the supports/services are DRES eligible, and
    • a new DRES application is submitted to the Government of Alberta each academic year.

DRES will not fund education supports for students with disabilities served under the Education Act or the Post-Secondary Learning Act.


Funding Considerations



Maximum Amount

$75,000/academic year

Cost Share

Not Applicable


Will vary




Alberta Student with Disabilities attending Out of Province Post-secondary Institutions

Student confirms if their out of province post-secondary institution provides disability-related supports/services.

The student may apply for DRES if funding is not available or if funding (including the CSG-PDSE) is not sufficient to cover the costs of necessary supports/ services.

Students with Disabilities attending Specialized Post-secondary Institution

Specialized post-secondary institutions offer programs specifically for persons with disabilities. The cost of supports and services to address the disability are included in the tuition, books and mandatory fees. As an example, Gallaudet University in Washington, USA is a post-secondary institution that provides education to deaf learners in an American Sign Language environment.

The intent of DRES in these situations is to assist the learner by providing funding to offset the higher cost of tuition, books and mandatory fees charged by the specialized post-secondary institution. DRES will provide the difference in the cost of tuition, books and mandatory fees between the specialized post-secondary institution and a similar program at a post-secondary institution in Alberta. This calculated amount will be considered as a resource for AE Learner Assistance purposes.  

DRES Delivery Specialists must be consulted regarding the calculation procedure. Government of Alberta staff will work in collaboration with staff from Advanced Education Student Services to determine the amount of DRES funding the student with a disability will receive.

DRES funding for education costs (tuition, books and mandatory fees) are taxable and a T4A will be issued to the learner at the end of the tax year. Regional DRES Disability Specialists must be consulted regarding the Taxable Benefits Payment Process.



Business Process

R10 Mobius Business Process


Individuals requesting a review of a decision regarding DRES supports and/or services or to exceed maximum funding amounts must follow the DRES Review of Decision process outlined in policy.


CEIS Overview
DRES General Policy Overview
DRES Eligibility Policy
DRES Supports and Services Policy
DRES Job Search Supports
DRES Workplace Supports
Employability Assessment
Workforce Development
Specialized Assessment