Ds Collaborative by CDSS

Introducing the Ds Collaborative

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society has successfully received federal funding for a
3-year project from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to create the first Ds Collaborative in Canada, a groundbreaking initiative designed to drive positive change and impact within the Canadian Down syndrome community.

The Ds Collaborative will be a network of organizations and self-advocates, united by a common goal – to share, support, and impact the lives of those with Down syndrome and their families. Our objectives are to foster collaboration, facilitate resource-sharing, and create a collective voice that will have a greater impact, working together to transform the landscape for individuals with Down syndrome.

This 3-year project funded by ESDC will start over the next few months. We are actively engaging with Down syndrome organizations to be part of the Phase 1 planning and capacity building. 

Why a Ds Collaborative?

Unity in Diversity

The Ds Collaborative will recognize the power of collective action. We want to unite people with diverse skills, backgrounds, and experiences so that we can create a more inclusive and supportive community. A key component will be including self-advocates to help guide our work.

Resource Sharing

A priority will be sharing resources to better understand the needs of
groups across the country. Whether it’s information, expertise, or tools, we want to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the resources they need to thrive.


Building connections and fostering relationships is at the heart of the Ds Collaborative. We will build a platform for networking, allowing you to connect with organizations that share your passion for promoting the well-being of individuals with
Down syndrome.

What Can You Expect?

Collaboration Opportunities

The Ds Collaborative will organize collaborative projects, events, and campaigns, which will include participation from our community.

Networking Platform

The Ds Collaborative will build a digital community to help you connect with others to share skills
and resources.


What do you mean by Ds Collaborative?

CDSS believes in collaborating and sharing with like-minded organizations to create impact. Our goal is to bring together Ds groups and build a community of thought leaders and self-advocates, so we support
each other and work on collective change.

Is my Ds group eligible to participate?

If your organization is a Canadian not-for-profit group with the sole mission and mandate to work with people with Down syndrome, we invite you to be part of the Ds Collaborative.

How do I register my Ds organization?

Send an email to collaborative@cdss.ca expressing your interest and include answers to the following:

  • Number of families that your association serves.
  • Does your organization have the capacity to commit to quarterly meetings for the Ds
    Collaborative for the duration of the 3-year project?
  • Are you currently part of any other collaborative?
Is there an organizational fee to be involved?

No, through the generous support of ESDC the Ds Collaborative is funded for an initial 3-year project.

Will the work of the Ds Collaborative affect the work of my local organization?

No. The goal of the Ds Collaborative is to increase the capacity of organizations across the country through sharing resources, skill sharing, and joint projects.

Can local care groups or individuals join?

No. Currently, we are in the first phase of the project and we will continue to evaluate how to include more diverse voices and experiences in the Ds Collaborative. This may include other sector agencies,
individuals, and groups.

I have questions about the Ds Collaborative. Who can I speak to?

Please contact Laura LaChance at laural@cdss.ca with your questions.

Funded by the Government of Canada

Please stay tuned to social media for updates on our project and check back here for new information.