1 November 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 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:

July 2, 2006
June 28, 2006
May 20, 2006
May 14, 2006
April 2, 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



Building an Inclusive & Accessible Canada
Celebrating the National Initiative on November 2

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Canadian Association for Community Living has created an initiative to create an inclusive and accessible Canada. This initiative seeks to build the momentum for action to increase the investment in disability supports, expand collaboration within the disability community and raise the profile of Canadians with disabilities. For more information about this initiative see the attached information sheet, visit their website, or email their virtual office at  

The year 2006 marks two very significant anniversaries for the disability community:
· 25th anniversary for both the International Year of the Disabled and the first Parliamentary report on disability, Obstacles
· 10th anniversary of the Scott Task Force Report, Equal Citizenship for Canadians with Disabilities: The Will to Act.

A National initiative has been designed to celebrate these past events and build toward the Forum in Ottawa on November 2, 2006. Building an Inclusive and Accessible Canada brings together people from across Canada, national, provincial and local disability groups and civil society organizations to participate in this unique and historic campaign. Click to read the story of one man with autism

Disability Matters
A summary of CBC News columns of analysis and comment in 2005-6.

**Welfare Income Rates in Canada Decreased Over Past Decades**
According to a report from the National Council of Welfare, many welfare incomes across Canada were lower in 2005 than they were
in 1986, after adjusting for inflation. For single people with disabilities, Ontario's welfare rates were the most generous of the provinces and territories, but the rates still only provided 58 percent of the income designed as the poverty line. See "Welfare Incomes 2005 Report" at

Brock University Starts Masters Program in Applied Disability Studies
"The Applied Disability Studies Program is designed to contribute to the betterment of the lives of persons with disabilities by providing multidisciplinary, quality postgraduate education to the next generation of professionals, researchers and educators, as well as to experienced professionals in the field. Faculty are internationally respected in disabilities and applied behaviour analysis, and the students will be able to tailor a stimulating program of study that meets their current and future interests and career aspirations." The next class will in September 2007. Keep checking the website for updates

Waterloo-Wellington Community Faculty Project

Waterloo ON – Adults with autism are the focus of an innovative teaching partnership between families and local post-secondary schools. Please click to view the brochure with vision, mission, values etc

The Waterloo-Wellington Community Faculty Project has received funding through SickKids Foundation to work in university and college classrooms. Community Faculty members are adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families. By sharing their personal experiences of living with autism, community faculty plan to increase the students’ knowledge of and sensitivity to adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Waterloo-Wellington Community Faculty Project is part of a larger initiative, Working Together For Change. Detailed information may be found on the project’s website at

If you are interested in becoming Community Faculty or are a Faculty member who is interested in involving Community Faculty in your research or in your classrooms, please contact:

Nancy Cherry

136 Weston Place

Waterloo ON N2J 3W1


One purpose in posting these announcements 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 people in other cities and regions.

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.

November 4, 2006, 9:30 to noon, in Kitchener
Wills, Henson Trusts, Power of Attorney, Guardianship

Speaker: Peter Brennan of Amy, Appleby and Brennan law firm.
Sponsored by Planned Lifetime Networks
Place: Extend-A-Family, 91 Moore Ave

November 7-9, 2006

3rd Annual “Passport to Community Participation” Conference
at Horseshoe Valley Resort in Barrie, Ontario
Click for full details

November 8-11, 2006, in Baltimore
TASH CONFERENCE: Living the Vision Together: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond
Conference Highlights
  • Keynote Speakers include - Jonathan Mooney, Ann Turnball, DJ and Ursula Markey and Zach Bryant, 14-year-old 8th grade student, Maryland
  • Featuring over 350 breakout sessions, exhibits, roundtable discussions, poster sessions and more
  • Special features include TASH TECH Workshops on restraint elimination, inclusive education, influencing teaching and learning, autism spectrum disorders, lifestyle issues, distance education, self advocates and more.
  • Highlighting Saturday Institutes on inclusive education, positive behavior support, social and recreation life and more.
  • Complete conference registration and hotel information is available on website at

November 11, 2006, 9:30 to noon, in Kitchener
Personal Support Networks: From Concept to Reality

Sponsored by Planned Lifetime Networks
Place: Extend-A-Family, 91 Moore Ave

November 19, 2006, all day, in Newmarket

Families for a Secure Future AGM
Making Dreams Possible with Rebecca Beayni
Click for full details and to register

Advance announcement

May 23 – 27, 2007, Sheraton Centre Toronto

2nd International Come To Your Senses Conference

Opening the Sensory World to Children & Adults with Complex Disabilities

By MukiBaum Treatment Centres

Call for Papers NOW OPEN! If you are interested in presenting at our conference, visit the website at and click on the link for Submit Paper. The complete details and rules for submission are outlined on the website.

We invite professionals, parents, caregivers, persons with disabilities, researchers and consumers to present on a wide array of topics within the realm of Sensory-Motor Therapy and people with disabilities. The goal is to share and disseminate knowledge and experience from around the world so that we can better understand the Sensory Reality of people with disabilities and the many forms of treatment that exist. 

Registration is now open at and you can take advantage of Early Bird rates. There will be opportunities for you and your organization to exhibit, become a sponsor of the event and participate in a number of activities throughout the conference.



High Road and Ability Online team up to help connect young people with disabilities 

Ability Online recently launched its newest program, "Job Readiness". This detailed program takes members through the process of finding a job, from exploring their skills and interests to writing their resume, preparing for an interview and researching the company. We will soon have Human Resource specialists helping members review their resumes and cover letters. We hope our members will browse through the portal and tell us what they think and how we can make it better. We also encourage our corporate sponsors to post job opportunities at their companies on the portal. A great big thanks to Pat Bibb and Eleana Rodriguez for their help in developing the portal, as well as the publishers of "What Colour is Your Parachute? - for Teens" for allowing us to publish content from their popular book.


Guide for People with Disabilities
It is also available for download at

What is the KIT: Keeping It Together™?

The KIT: Keeping it Together™ is a binder for parents caring for children with special needs. The KIT has two parts:

  • A comprehensive set of User’s Guides which help parents organize information for their child;
  •  An interactive and comprehensive Binder which contains blank forms and different sections to store necessary information and documents that parent’s often need at their finger tips.

The KIT was designed to help parents of children with special needs use information as a tool to increase communication and interaction with their child’s service providers. The KIT is useful for parents of children with a wide variety of special needs and all developmental ages from birth to 21 years.

How Can Families Order The KIT?
The KIT: Keeping It Together™ (ISBN 0666237433) is currently being sold by the McMaster University Bookstore. Individuals interested in purchasing The KIT can contact Customer Service by calling: 1-800-238-1623. The KIT costs $29.95 plus GST and shipping. Additional ordering information can be found online at

Partners in Policymaking
is an innovative, award-winning leadership training program for adults with developmental disabilities and the parents of young children with developmental disabilities throughout the world. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Welcome to Partners in Living, a self-study course created to help people with developmental disabilities, their family and friends explore four important elements that, together, can help them create a meaningful life: Self-Determination, Family Support, Community Living and Assistive Technology.

Where's the Patient's Voice in Health Professional Education?
(To log on to this web site as a guest- go to :
What is the Innovations Manual?
The Innovations Manual will be a collection of examples of the range of initiatives that incorporate the patient’s voice into different aspects of health professional education. The examples will be a source of inspiration as well as offering practical ideas for implementation through lessons learned from experience.
Our goal is to collect these examples into an “Innovations Manual”. However, a formal publication takes a long time to produce and conference participants asked for timely sharing of information. We therefore plan to assemble the manual by putting the case studies we receive on the Network website as .pdf documents. This will also allow writers to send in updates to their original case study as they progress. Members of the network will be able to view and download the case studies, and use the website discussion forum for questions and comments.
At some point a selection of the case studies will be organized and compiled into a publication with indexing, and commentary that links across the case studies to draw out common themes, lessons learned, etc.
If you are interested in submitting a case study please contact for guidelines.

Welcome to Philia: A Dialogue on Caring Citizenship
Subscribe for monthly ezines.
In the latest of these read about "The Belonging Initiative"
The Belonging Initiative is a national collaboration to nurture belonging and end isolation. The initiative is guided by a fundamental belief in the importance of human connections and the possibilities for mutual enrichment that arise through these connections. Its founders believe passionately that together we can develop a groundswell that will lead to a society in which everyone belongs – and that the Belonging Initiative will soon turn into a Belonging Movement!

PLANfacts - Fall 2006 Issue

** PLAN Institute Launches Cross-Canada Tour **
For the first time in history, children with disabilities are outliving their parents. This fall, The Ties That Bind National Tour visits communities from British Columbia to Newfoundland to give families the tools they need to secure the well-being of children with disabilities. The public is invited to a screening of the National Film Board documentary "The Ties That Bind," about one Ottawa family and their struggle to create a secure future for their son. Families can also attend a workshop to learn practical steps that they can take. For dates and locations, visit Expanding Across Ontario

Welcome to the Waterloo Region arm of
This site provides information on the respite programs and services offered by developmental services agencies in the Region of Waterloo.
Here is the link for Wellington County:

Visit the new Spark of Brilliance website
We believe that within each person resides an untapped potential and creative spirit that when given the opportunity will manifest itself and help create a path to healing and recovery.


We seek to reveal and spark that creative spirit and help make it manifest. We seek to provide the opportunity and environment where persons who are dealing with mental health issues, and their supportive allies, can discover the potential that is common to us all, but unique to each person.

  • To provide a safe and nurturing community where people with mental health issues and their supportive allies are empowered through self-expression and the arts.
  • To create healthy communities by building bridges to the mental health, business and arts sectors by developing strong community partnerships, by heightening awareness and by eliminating stigma.
  • To enable people with mental health issues to learn, develop and apply new skills so that they can contribute to their communities.
  • To create a community where all citizens are recognized and applauded for their gifts and talents. To promote quality of life, dignity and respect.




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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