12 November 2005
An electronic bulletin for adults who are vulnerable because of disability
and for their families, friends and supporters who care about them

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This new bulletin is one outcome of the Guelph Spring Conference on Creative Supports held 29 April 2005, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. It is for everyone who is vulnerable because of any kind of disability, and for their families, friends and supporters. We can share dilemmas and difficulties as well as bright ideas and successes. There are announcements of events and special projects, discussions of issues and concerns, and links to useful books, websites and other resources. Our focus is mainly on Ontario, but we have wider contacts as well.

In organizing the Guelph Spring conference, we were moved by a desire to be positive and resourceful amid challenges--by the idea expressed in a Chinese proverb:  It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

The bulletin is being sent first to email addresses on our Aroha Listserv. Why Aroha? Practically, it's good for a Listserv or website to have a short, distinctive codeword unlikely to be confused with any other. More importantly, Aroha, a Polynesian Maori word from Aotearoa/New Zealand, means the various qualities and values that are needed in a caring circle of friends. It can mean affection, respect, love, charity, compassion, empathy, concern, trust, pity, understanding and true friendship—all in active ways, not just ideas or feelings. 

You are receiving this bulletin because you attended the Guelph conference in April 2005 or expressed interest in resources coming out of that conference. Or you may have been a member of our PLN Listserv, for people concerned with Personal Support Networks. Or someone on the List has suggested that you could be interested. We hope you will continue on the Aroha Listserv, recommend it to others, and contribute news and ideas that we may share. Please click for a technical note on how to maintain your membership of the Aroha Listserv and how to unsubscribe if you wish.

Please send news, announcements and comments to We welcome news items, announcements of events, new information, discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience.

The Aroha Listserv and Creative Supports Bulletin are linked to the OAARSN website (Ontario Adult Autism Research & Support Network) which is hosted at the University of Guelph. Click to reach OAARSN's main page 

Please note that we (or OAARSN or the University of Guelph) do not necessarily endorse announcements or opinions that may be posted in this bulletin.. We will make reasonable efforts to check sources.

Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Previous Creative Supports bulletins may be found by clicking on the following links:
October 10, 2005
September 18, 2005
August 15, 2005
August 1, 2005
July 6, 2005


Creative Supports for Vulnerable Citizens
Audio and video recordings of the Guelph Spring Conference in April 2005 have been edited into:
-summary videotape of the essence and highlights of the conference

-a print publication of edited text transcripts of the presentations and of the displays

More than 180 people joined in the full program that opened with a keynote address by John Lord on “Creative Supports that Work: Values, Principles and Processes.”
Then there were four parallel workshops:

Judith Snow on “Building Supports with Individuals”
Barbara Leavitt on “From Housing to Creating My Home”
Peggy Hutchison on “Building Meaningful Supports for Work and Recreation Experiences”
Marlyn Shervill, Alice Quinlan and Michelle Friesen on “How Families and Communities
Can Make Creative Options Work: The Windsor-Essex Experience”
Throughout the day there were many displays by organizations from all over southern Ontario. Several creative initiatives were featured in the early afternoon session. John Lord gathered up the day’s ideas and strategies in a final plenary session, so that we could all “go home with awareness.”

We believe it is vital to build on what was learned at the Guelph conference. Many people noted that the scope of the conference was exactly what they needed. There was a heavy demand for places at the conference. Many were interested in more than one workshop topic, and wished there could have been time to take part in two or more instead of just one. We've heard from people all over Ontario who were unable to attend on April 29, but want to be kept informed of resources coming out of the conference.

The videotape and book have been produced by Guelph Services for the Autistic, which thanks Kerry's Place Autism Services and the Community Mental Health Clinic in Guelph for grants to help us make these resources available at modest cost.
Click for more details and order form



Working Together For Change
The Sick Kids Foundation has funded a three year project to increase community faculty in two regions in Ontario: Toronto and the Hamilton-Guelph-Waterloo-St Catherines region. The project partners are Family Alliance Ontario, CanChild (McMaster University) and the Ryerson Disability Studies Program.
"We believe that the perspectives and values of persons with disabilities and their families should influence education and research.  Community Faculty are persons with a disability and their families, who participate in and influence education and/or research, in order to facilitate social change."

Click on title to visit the website. Contact Barbara Ostroff for more at

Safe and Secure Futures Networks
Sponsored by Extend-A-Family, aim to empower families to develop and nurture a support circle with their family member who has a disability. A support circle is a group of people, primarily family and friends, sometimes with the assistance of a facilitator, who are invited to come together regularly, to focus on the individual and his/her evolving personal vision. Circle members are intent on supporting the person to have choice and control in his/her life and to experience a variety of meaningful relationships. 

Safe and Secure Futures Networks offer opportunities to share and learn from each other, building our confidence to invite people who will meet, listen to hopes and dreams, consider possibilities, and plan with the individual we love, who may be vulnerable and at risk of isolation. A variety of topics of mutual interest may be explored through guided discussions with a facilitator, such as:
·       Relationships and a context in which they can develop;
·       Person centred/directed planning and individualized supports;
·       Creating the right place to live; and
·       Financial and estate planning

West Network meets the last Monday of the month with one exception:
Oct 31; Nov 28; Jan 30; Wed March 1;March 27; April 24; May 29 at Royal York Rd. United Church, 851 Royal York Rd. (2 blocks s. of Bloor). Parking on side streets preferred.

Central/East Network
meets the last Tuesday of the month:
Oct 25; Nov 29; Jan 31; February 28; March 28; April 25; May 30 St. Simon the Apostle Anglican Church, 525 Bloor St. E. between Sherbourne and Parliament, KNOCK HARD on(east end) door near intercom at top of ramp or call Christy’s cell 416 949-5215. Free street parking on Howard (s. of Bloor)/meter parking on Bloor.

Please RSVP, or for more information, contact Christy Barber, Facilitator,  or 416 487-4564.

Please let me know each month, if you are able to attend. This is particularly helpful in case of poor weather or an unavoidable cancellation. If you wish to contact me, I would be happy to discuss your own family's initiatives to secure a "good life" for your family member. Christy Barber, Extend-A-Family Coordinator, Safe and Secure Futures Networks Facilitator, 416 487-4564

If you would like to develop a support circle with your family member, or if you are part of a group that would like to know more about support circles and person- centred planning,  I would be pleased to hear from you. Limited facilitator support is available.
Funding for Safe and Secure Futures through a City of Toronto Community Services Grant is greatly appreciated.



Stop Bill C-407

News and information in the fight against this proposed legislation

The following is a link to an online petition that only takes seconds to fill out.  It is important that we try to stop Bill C-407.
If this bill passes it will legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canda.  Please, take a minute to
sign this petition and to forward this address to as many friends as possible.  Thank you.

Capacity Assessment and Decision-Making
An electronic tutorial compiled with the help of Elaine Atchison,
Senior Program Co-ordinator for the Capacity Assessment Office (CAO), Ontario Ministry of Attorney General.
How families and friends need to plan for how decisions will be made by/for vulnerable persons regarding their property and personal care. Families of persons whose capacity might be doubted are encouraged to plan ahead and explore all possible alternatives to letting decisions fall, by default, into the control of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
Key ideas:
"Capacity Assessments are legal assessments of a person’s capacity to understand information that is relevant to making a decision or to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or a lack of decision regarding their property (finances) and/or any of the six domains of personal care (health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene or safety)....
"A basic tenet of Ontario's SDA is that guardianship should be a last resort when nothing short of guardianship will meet the decisional needs of an incapable person."


One purpose in posting these announcments is to publicize events being offered by organizations who have similar values to ours. As many of us are limited in our ability to travel, another purpose is to share creative ideas that might be taken up by others.

Please send submissions for this news bulletin in plain text format by email to with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
Please provide details of the following as BRIEFLY as possible: 
 Name of Event
 Main Speakers and Topics of Event 
 Date of Event 
 City and Location of Event
 Contact information to learn more about event 
 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments, but URL links to more detailed information on other websites are welcome.

Thursday November 17, 2005, 2 pm to 5 pm, in Toronto
Seminar Series on Community Based Research
Community Faculty: Building New Collaborations
Sponsored by The Community Faculty Project and the SickKids Foundation
Location: School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, 99 Gerrard St. E, 5th floor, SHE 560
Visit the Working Together For Change website    Contact Barbara Ostroff for more at

November 19, 2005, 9am-4:30pm, in Elmira
Workshop entitled Exploring the Possibilities: Home, Work and Community
hosted by Elmira and District Association for Community Living.
Featuring four speakers, all of them adults with developmental disabilities, who have been able to create a life of their own. The presentation is designed to provide detailed information to families about creating personalized supports and good lives. These individuals will be accompanied by their families.
Click for more 

The event is free and lunch is provided. You must register to attend:
Laurie Thomson, Human Resources Administrator
Elmira and District Association for Community Living
(519) 669-3205 ext. 7 Fax: (519) 669-3444 Email:

November 19,
9:30am-12 noon, in Kitchener
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall Workshop Series
Healthy relationships: Safety, Relationship Circles program,
Friendships and Intimacy
in our Children’s Lives with Karen Klee

Do you have concerns and questions about the relationships in the life of your child with a disability? Come and find out about ways to help your child make and keep friends, understand safety issues in relation to the people in their community and be as safe as possible in their relationship choices.
Karen Klee is a public health nurse with years of experience in teaching people with disabilities about their bodies, their friends and their community relationships in ways that enhance self esteem, safety and knowledge.

All workshops are Saturday mornings 9:30am to noon at The Church of the Good Shepherd, corner of Margaret and Queen (across from The Centre In the Square) in the Fireside Room. Parking lot is entered off Margaret Avenue.
For information call 746-1188 or email 
Workshops are financially supported by the Ontario Law Foundation

November 19, 2005, 5-9pm, 12:30-5pm, in Huntsville
Individualized Funding in Huntsvile Area
Click on title for full details

mber 23, 2005, 7-10pm, in London
Individualized Supports & Funding in London and Area
Click on title for full details

November 24, 2005, 5-9pm, in Toronto

Kitchen Table Talks about Special Services at Home (SSAHPC)
SSAHPC hosts an evening of dinner and discussion about Special Services at Home
Location: North Toronto Memorial Community Centre: 200 Eglinton Avenue West (west of Yonge), Toronto
To register or for additional information
Visit the SSAHPC website

November 30, 2005, 9:30am-4pm, in London
Regional Support Associates present
Aiming Higher for People with Higher Needs!
Paul Gribbon, Community Consultant 
People with higher developmental needs (severe disabilities) make up a smaller portion of those who receive support in developmental services, yet are often those who demand the lion's share of resources.  This session will seek to help caregivers Aim Higher with respect to the famed "Three S's" of support for the person with higher needs.
Discussion will centre on understanding what constitutes higher needs, tips for helping people move toward independence, providing enhanced environments and avoiding potential difficulties.
Cost: $40.00. Four Points Sheraton in London.
Click for online registration

December 7, 2005, 5-9pm, in London
Kitchen Table Talks about Special Services at Home (SSAHPC)
SSAHPC hosts an evening of dinner and discussion about Special Services at Home
Location: Siskinds Office, 680 Waterloo Street, London
To register or for additional information
Visit the SSAHPC website

Friday, December 9, 2005
, 9:30am-4pm, in Owen Sound
Regional Support Associates present
TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORLD: Building Blocks for Success    
High school graduation!  Find Work! Fear the person will be left sitting with nothing to do! 
Relationship, sex and marriage.  ADULTHOOD!.............THE FUTURE!
For parents of people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, and the individuals themselves, school to world transition can often be a time of fear and apprehension. 
This session will look at creative approaches for helping individuals and their families.

Presenters: Glen Walker, BA, BSW, RSW  is the Director of RSA, and J. Dale Munro, MSW, RSW, FAAMR is a clinical supervisor and family therapist with RSA
Best Western Inn on the Bay, Owen Sound. $40.00
Click for online registration



Individualized Funding Coalition For Ontario
IFCO's website, maintained by Joyce Balaz, contains much up-to-date and relevant material too encourage persons and families who want to direct their own lives.
Note a new document Building a New Story: Transforming Disability Supports and Policies
Revisiting In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues 1997. A commentary by John Lord, Judith Snow and Charlotte Dingwall, for the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (September 2005).

ARCH ALERT: November 9, 2005
ARCH ALERT is published by ARCH Disability Law Centre. It is distributed free via e-mail, fax, or mail to ARCH member groups, community legal clinics, and others with an interest in disability issues. ARCH is a non-profit community legal clinic, which defends and promotes the equality rights of persons with disabilities through litigation, law/policy reform and legal education.

  1. Supreme Court Victory for Immigrants with Disabilities
  2. ARCH Anniversary Celebration and Annual General Meeting
  3. New Rules for ODSP and OW Special Diet Allowance
  4. First Two AODA Accessibility Standards Development Committees Planned
  5. Update on Human Rights Reform Process in Ontario
  6. ARCH Launches Fact Sheets on Abuse and Persons with Disabilities
  7. MCSS Announces New Funding for Community Living
  8. MCYS Answers Questions on Specialized Supports Funding
  9. Government Appeals Wynberg Decision, CACL and CLO Intervene
  10. ARCH at the Supreme Court
  11. More Time to Take Part in SDC's Online Consultation
  12. Member of "Alternate Family" Is Renter, not Boarder
  13. Court Denies Child Support to Parent of Crown Ward with Disability
  14. TTY Service at Legal Aid Ontario and the Federal Government
  15. Correction
  16. Law Student Creates Book on Living with Disability
  17. Resources on Abuse and Persons with Disabilities

News from Accessibility Ontario

The Ontario government is continuing to move forward with implementation of the province’s landmark accessibility legislation by starting work on new provincial accessibility standards.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 will make Ontario a world leader in improving accessibility for people with disabilities. Clear accessibility standards will be the building blocks of an accessible Ontario and make it possible for people with disabilities to participate to their full potential in the social and economic life of the province.
The government is now recruiting members for the committees that will develop the customer service and transportation standards. Click on the title to keep up with the news.

Number 86 November 1, 2005
Housing Again Bulletin, sponsored by Raising the Roof as a partner in Housing Again. A monthly electronic bulletin highlighting what people are doing to put housing back on the public agenda in Ontario, across Canada and around the world. Our web sites are:
Housing Again
Shared Learnings on Homelessness
Raising the Roof
If you have any tips for the Bulletin please e-mail: or

The Philia Dialogue on Caring Citizenship invites you to visit its newly designed website.
The Philia Dialogue is an initiative of PLAN Institute, which brings the wisdom of the disability community to Philia's quest for a more inclusive society. You can request a free subscription to the monthly e-zine @Philia.
To give a sense of its scope, these are in the November ezine:
-Nourishing Ideas: Music and Citizenship, and The Social Construction of Poverty
-Philia Online Dialogue Series
-Inspiring Action: Measuring Up, and Action For Neighbourhood Change
The Philia Dialogue is an initiative of PLAN Institute, which brings the wisdom of the disability community to Philia's quest for a more inclusive society. You can request a free subscription to the monthly e-zine @Philia.
Share your ideas and stories at the website by clicking "Have Your Say" or send longer stories to

Read PLANFacts

The Fall 2005 newsletter of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network
an organization created to help families answer the question:
"What happens to our family members with disabilities when we die?"
Visit the new PLAN website with links to:

Philia - A Dialogue on Caring Citizenship

Family Leadership

Social Network Facilitation
Organizational Development

Policy Reform

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing
aims to provide Canadians with a clear, valid, and regular accounting of the things that matter to them and the genuine progress of
Canada. Read more

The latest issue (64, Fall 2005) features Abilities Festival: Spotlight on the Arts.

Disability WebLinks
Disability WebLinks is a resource providing access to over 1,500 federal, provincial and territorial government programs, information and services for people with disabilities in Canada.




We know that some vulnerable adults and their families and caregivers are heroically using what resources they have to achieve some successes with their challenges. Some can report remarkable progress. We invite you to share your challenges, dreams and success stories, if you think others might help or benefit.

If you wish, we will not publish your name or email address. You may send a message to

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