Posted on May 16, 2018
Our guest speaker today was Mark Snedeen of Ottawa Carleton Lifeskills Inc.  

Ottawa-Carleton Lifeskills (OCL) strives to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities.


Since 1985, OCL has been funded by the province to offer adults with developmental disabilities encouragement, opportunities and experiences through programs where they can grow, learn and thrive. OCL employs 202 people and serves hundreds of individuals in the community through a broad range of programs; including residential, supported independent living and day support programs.  Currently there are accommodations in various living arrangements city-wide, ranging from group homes, home-sharing and a significant number of apartments.  Approximately 6,000 people are on various waiting lists for services in the greater Ottawa region.  OCL operates a number of social enterprises to provide meaningful day activities for the individuals they serve, including Tableworks (catering to social events  ) and Impact Cards (production of greeting cards for sale). These activities also help to raise much-needed funds for OCL. 

The trend is away from hospitals and group homes to individuals living in a supported independent living setting; as appropriate.  Partnerships with community agencies are key to success with this model which provides cost savings overall.


Rotary can assist in raising awareness in the community about the overall lack of services for adults with developmental disabilities.