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Leading with Care

Our Journey from GLS to SCDSN

Discover our evolution from the Great Lakes Society to today’s beacon of specialized clinical support and advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Specialized Clinical DS Network started as the Great Lakes Society (GLS) founded in 1992 by a group of not-for-profit agencies that provide clinical services and supports to persons with a Developmental Disability.

Historically, our members have been a core group of agencies providing specialized and clinical supports within the Developmental Service Sector for both children and adults. We believe that the supports and services provided by our member agencies represent an essential part of the continuum in the Developmental Services Sector.

As a Network we continue to be leaders in the field advocating for the continuum of care for people with complex needs. We do this by:

  • Being active in in provincial associations including the Networks of Specialized Care, Provincial Network, Partnership Table, Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities (OADD), Ontario Association Supporting Individuals (OASIS) and the Developmental Services Ontario Network.
  • Hosting an annual conference focused on topics related to complex care and best practice
  • Working as a group to provide support to our member agencies
  • In 2013, GLS identified a need to engage in a comprehensive strategic planning process resulting in a revitalized mission, vision, values as well as clearly articulated strategic directions and related workplan.

In 2017 and 2018 work was done to launch a website and increase recognition of the work of the Network and its members. This work was gaining momentum when COVID changed the landscape for everyone.

2023 saw a renewed interest in making the Network an integral part of supporting agencies to provide quality care and a new strategic plan was begun. The result has been a cleaner, more responsive Board of Directors, a renewed interest in governance and advocacy and a new name and logo.


The Specialized Clinical DS Network believes in the full social inclusion of people with developmental disabilities supported by inclusive communities. The Specialized Clinical DS Network is an Ontario network of members that provide, promote and strongly advocate for a continuum of specialized services and clinical supports for people with developmental disabilities across the life span.

  • Full social inclusion
  • Continuum of specialized support
  • Inclusive communities
  • Lifespan support


We envision a future where social inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families are supported by responsive, seamless access to an effective continuum of specialized services and clinical supports across Ontario. We achieve our Mission and Vision through:

  • Leadership across community, regional and provincial levels
  • Capacity building and evidence-based service delivery
  • Focused research and exchange
  • Stakeholder collaboration


At the Specialized Clinical DS Network, we champion collaboration, respect, and empowerment, driving excellence and innovation in specialized clinical supports. Our proactive, flexible approach ensures effective, efficient solutions for individuals with developmental disabilities, embodying our commitment to inclusivity and support across Ontario.

  • Collaboration/cooperation
  • Respect
  • Support
  • Empowerment
  • Excellence of Service

SCDSN Board Members

Access Community Services

Board Member — Treasurer & Secretary
Carol Blaind, Exec. Dir.


Board Member
Paul McGowan, CEO

Brantwood Community Services

Board Member
Sherry Novak, Director, Inclusive Housing and Complex Supports

Central West Specialized Developmental Services

Board Member
Patricia Kyle, CEO

CLH Developmental Support Services

Board Member — Vice Chair
Marnie McDermott, Network Mgr

Cochrane Temiskaming Resource Centre

Board Member
Joel McCartney, Exec. Dir.

Developmental Services of Leeds & Grenville

Board Member
Thomas Turner, Exec. Dir.

Regional Support Associates

Board Member
Jason Young, Director

Sunbeam Community & Developmental Services

Board Member — Chair
Brian Swainson, CEO

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