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Employment & Training Programs and Services

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

Disability Related Employment Supports (DRES)

DRES Eligibility Policy

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

To provide general direction and considerations for determining eligibility for Disability Related Employment Supports (DRES) funding for individuals who meet the DRES regulation definition of disability and a barrier to education/training and/or employment created by their disability.

Eligibility criteria for individuals, employers and educational institutions eligibility must be met prior to approving DRES funding for supports/services.

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

Individual Eligibility

Individuals must meet the definition of disability as outlined in the DRES Regulation.

Individuals must also:

  • Be a resident of Alberta. A person is a resident of Alberta if the person:
    • makes his or her home in Alberta and
    • is ordinarily a resident in Alberta which includes an Albertan who is temporarily absent for education or training purposes. and
  • Be 16 years of age or older and
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or refugee under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and be legally entitled to work and/or train in Canada.
  • Have a complete Employability Assessment indicating the presence of a documented disability that creates a barrier impacting participation in the workplace.
  • Be able to participate in the workforce (part-time or full-time)

Note: If the person with a disability is eligible to receive the same or similar disability related supports/services from another program or funding source, they must access them prior to applying for DRES.


  • Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB)
  • Disability Insurance
  • Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D)
  • Insurance settlements
  • Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL)
  • Grants from Advanced Education
  • Other funders 

Employer Eligibility

The following list describes eligible and ineligible employers for individuals requesting DRES funding for Workplace Supports:

 Eligible Employers

 Ineligible Employers

  • private organizations or companies
  • not-for-profit organizations or companies
  • Self-employed persons with disabilities may be eligible for DRES. The supports/services that are funded must be directly linked to the disability.
  • civic, provincial, and federal government,
  • hospitals, and
  • schools which include K–12 and publicly funded post-secondary institutions. 


Unpaid practicums or volunteer positions do not meet the definition of employment as per DRES Regulation Section 1(c) and cannot be supported by DRES Workplace Supports.

To be eligible for workplace supports an individual must be able to work and be receiving at least the minimum wage as defined in the Alberta Employment Standards Code (includes comparable income level for self-employment).

Post-secondary Institution Eligibility

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.

Educational supports may be provided to eligible students with disabilities attending eligible non-publicly funded post-secondary institutions and out of province post-secondary institutions. Educational program eligibility criteria can be found on the DRES Education Supports Policy.


All supports/services funded through DRES must be pre-approved by an Authorized Official. Vendors or service provides are paid directly for DRES-funded services/supports. DRES cannot reimburse individuals for purchases.

Duty to Accommodate
Under Alberta Human Rights (AHR) legislation, certain groups (including employers) have a Duty to Accommodate employees/students/individuals with disabilities which includes the costs incurred with the accommodations.

DRES’s role is not to assume the legislated Duty to Accommodate. The intent of DRES is to work in partnership with employers and non-publicly funded post-secondary institutions. Through this partnership a determination is made regarding the disability-related needs of a potential or existing employee(s)/student and to negotiate with the employer/service provider the contribution of each party towards the cost of supporting an individual(s) with a disability.


The process of eligibility determination includes determining:

  • individual eligibility
  • employer/educational program eligibility
  • eligibility of requested support/services
  • requested support/services will assist the individual with labour market attachment

Detailed steps and processes are outlined in the 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 Supports and Services Policy

DRES Education Supports

DRES Job Search Supports

DRES Workplace Supports

Employability Assessment

Workforce Development

Specialized Assessment

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