Dianne Dyck began teaching at the University of Fredericton when there were limited educational resources in the marketplace for people practicing in the field of Disability Management. Any programs that did exist, were not at an advanced level. Dianne took the opportunity to design a program to fill that void. “My challenge was to produce a program that would standardize, to some extent, the basic practice knowledge needed by practitioners in the field of Disability Management,” she said.
Dianne has an abundance of work and educational experience to share with her students. She has been an advisor for Occupational Health Services at a major oil and gas company, a senior consultant with a major Human Resources Management firm, and a Director of Occupational Health and Safety for a Canadian utility company. Currently, in addition to being an instructor at UFred, she is in independent practice as an Occupational Health Nurse in Calgary. Dianne completed a Master degree in Community Health Sciences with a specialty in epidemiology (University of Calgary). She is a Certified Canadian Occupational Health Nurse (COHN(C)) and a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP), both specialist designations. Currently, Dianne has three publications on the market and is writing the 6th edition of Disability Management: Theory, Strategy and Industry Practice, scheduled to be released in May, 2017. She also takes on innovative consulting projects that “blend Occupational Health Nursing, Occupational Health and Safety, and Human Resources practices.”
In May 2010, Dianne taught her first class at UFred. The initial excitement that she felt educating in this “new way”, entirely online, has not faded during her time as an instructor with UFred:
“The University of Fredericton has worked alongside with me to provide the platform and the support to be able to make those academic endeavors function. I’m studying with students who are now looking for, even more advanced levels of education than the IDMP certificate program. They are looking for professional diplomas; they are looking for bachelor degrees; and they are looking for Master-level programs. That is something that UFred recognizes and is providing. I think that this is all quite exciting.”
Dianne is excited for her students, who are making career changes and learning new skills. For them, she has developed and tried new programs through UFred. She has also worked with certain industry clients to build learning centers and partnered with UFred to deliver online learning using its learning technology.
“I’ve had the opportunity to touch the lives of 332 UFred students, and of those, 63% of them not only took one course, but proceeded on to completed their Certificate in Integrated Disability Management (CIDM), “she said.
Her student’s previous educational experiences and whereabouts are diverse, and Dianne is pleased that UFred brings education right to their “doors”:
“I’m part of a university that is enlightened enough to realize that we have students out there who have not taken education, or shied away from it because it didn’t fit their abilities,” she said. She reflected, “I’ve taught students out of New Zealand, even one in South Africa, and Jamaica, where they can’t get the kind of education they’re seeking; but, they don’t have to be sitting in New Brunswick to achieve their goals.”
Dianne aspires to keep her program content relevant to today’s workforce, such as dealing with marijuana in the workplace, the challenges of a diverse workforce, the increasing numbers and costs associate with musculoskeletal injuries, or telecommuting to work:
“If you had the opportunity to read the book, The 2020 Workplace, it’s certainly evident that, as instructors, we are going to have to stay current and make sure that the content that we provide within our courses addresses the challenges that these students are going to face.”
The practical applications for disability management education are endless. Dianne’s student base ranges from people who need to take one course to complete their Professional Diploma in Safety, or in Health and Environmental Management (SHEM), to individuals planning to have a career in Disability Management; they come from all walks of life. She is pleased to offer formalized education in Disability Management to greatly improve how illness and injury are handled in the workplace.