CREATIVE SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE CITIZENS
20 May 2006
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 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 gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca 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:

May 14, 2006
March 20, 2006
February 16, 2006
February 10, 2006
February 4, 2006
January 18, 2006
November 12, 2005
October 10, 2005
September 18, 2005
August 15, 2005
August 1, 2005
July 6, 2005

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IMPORTANT SPECIAL ISSUES FOR ADULTS IN ONTARIO
We urge you to read the following report and respond to MCSS via the feedback page very soon. The report is the culmination of the recent process of transforming developmental services in Ontario, and may become the "blueprint" for services and funding in the next 25 years.

Opportunities and Action: Transforming Supports in Ontario for People Who Have a Developmental Disability is the Ontario government's response to the challenges facing our developmental services system.  The paper outlines key directions to achieve the Province's vision of an inclusive Ontario for people with a developmental disability, and is the product of 18 months of consultation with people who have a developmental disability, their families, community agencies, academics and clinical experts.  The paper also includes a series of questions to generate thought on how best to implement changes to the system of supports in Ontario.

Opportunities and Action is now available for public comment so that all Ontarians can contribute to shaping the future of a fair, accessible and sustainable developmental services system for Ontario.  Comments may be submitted via a feedback page, e-mail, fax or mail until June 30, 2006.  The government will also be holding focus groups with families to encourage further discussion and obtain their input about how to implement changes to the system. 

The input received from the consultation will guide a blueprint for the future of developmental services in Ontario:  one that is focused on long-term solutions to help individuals with a developmental disability realize their potential and fully participate in our communities.

Read the Full Report
Read the Plain Language Version
Read Executive Summary
Feedback Page

For background, in responding to Opportunities and Action, please read the following:
New Study Demonstrates Impact of Making Disability Supports Personalized

The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario has released a new study on the role of individualized funding in Ontario. Moving Toward Citizenship is a comprehensive study of how four projects across Ontario are providing supports to people with disabilities in a unique and personalized fashion. Researchers studied 130 individuals and their families who receive individualized funding for their support needs. Individualized funding is based on a support plan developed by the person and their network.....
Principal Investigator John Lord said that the study showed that families who use this innovative approach tend to be highly involved. “At all sites, we also found a deep commitment to citizenship and choice among staff and families,” said Lord.  In addition to strong values and organizational support, the researchers found that there were three things that were vital to the success of individualized funding; the facilitator that worked closely with individuals and their families, networks and relationships that assisted the person to live in the community, and effective workers that enabled people to build creative supports.
Click on this link to reach the full report: Moving Toward Citizenship
Click to reach more articles on John Lord's website
Check out all the resources of the IFCO website


NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EVENTS

June 2006, Monday evenings, in Pickering
Towards a Culture of Gentleness
a four part introduction to gentle and compassionate caregiving practices
presented by Felicia Jervis:
-Understanding the "language of pain"
-Healing the pain
-Safe from harm
-Taking care of the caregivers
For parents, family members, friends, caregiving companions, students, educators, service providers and mental health professionals.
Click for brochure and contact details


June 16-17, 2006
, in Toronto
Autism Society
Ontario: 2006 Annual Conference
"Kids Grow Up": Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum
Click for program and registration details


July 10 -
July 12, 2006, in San Diego, CA
The University of San Diego announces
1st Annual Autism Institute.
People Moving On: A 21st Century Approach to Understanding and Supporting Individuals with Autism and Those Who Care For Them and About Them

”At last, an approach to autism that integrates neurological, behavioral, social and communication knowledge in a holistic and respectful person-centered way.”
Drawing on over a century of combined experience in autism research, training and practice, Anne M Donnellan, PhD, Gary W LaVigna, PhD, Martha Leary, MA, CCC-SLP, Kate McGinnity, MS, Nan Negri, PhD, and Jodi Robledo, PhD will address:
* Learning from First-Hand Accounts
* Valuing People and Developing Successful Strategies from Early Intervention through Adulthood
* The Role of Movement Differences in Communication and Behavior Challenges
* Supporting Social/Emotional Development
* Communicative Functions of Behavior
* Humanizing and Personalizing Effective Applied Behavioral Analysis Approaches
* Communication Supports
* Sensitivity Training: Understanding the lived experience of persons with the autism label
* Relaxation Techniques and Yoga
* Sensory-integration and other techniques
Click on this link for full details

We welcome news, announcements, ideas and comments related to creative supports. Please send material to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca

For a note about technical aspects of the Aroha Listserv, please click on http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/aroha-tech-info.html


Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield