18 January 2007
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 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.

You are receiving this bulletin because you attended the Guelph Spring Conference on Creative Supports 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 

It is usually possible to learn more about each item by clicking on the live link (underlined).

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:

March 3, 2007
February 20, 2007
January 30, 2007
January 18, 2007
December 26, 2006
November 20, 2006
November 7, 2006
November 1, 2006
October 7, 2006
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



Six Wednesday evenings, starting January 17: 6-9pm in Oshawa
Keeping People Safe From Harm: Gentle and Compassionate Caregiving Practices
A six-week introductory series by Felicia Jervis
Key caregiving principles include: bonding and companionship; avoiding power and control over others; a focus on personal connections; a celebration of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity.
Click for brochure with more details 
For further information about Gentle Teaching, visit
Families who could benefit are most welcome, and there is no charge.
Students and others who attend all sessions can receive a certificate of participation from Gentle Teaching International.

13-14 February 2007
Facilitation Workshop: Building a New Story

led by John Lord and Charlotte Dingwall
sponsored by Community Living West Northumberland
Click for brochure and how to register
Click for more about Facilitation Leadership Group training

March 8, 2007, in Guelph
Wellington Agency Information Fair
For Families & Individuals with Disabilities to get information about all kinds of supports…
Click for full details

May 23 – 27, 2007, Sheraton Centre Toronto
2nd International Come To Your Senses Conference
Opening the Sensory World to Children & Adults with Complex Disabilities
Register now at


Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation Fostering Knowledge and Community for Autism and Beyond
Offer of research funds for projects aimed at investigating communication difficulties, capacities and options for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Very little effort now goes into communication support for adults with autism, though communication is a key "deficit". A big reason for this neglect has been the absence of funds for research and implementation. It would be great if this new initiative could help to turn that around, and if Canada could be somehow involved:  
Deadline for receipt of Letters of Intent is March 15, 2007.
See for general information:
Click for detailed announcement which states that researchers outside the
US are eligible to apply and explicitly encourages research in Supported Communicating and FC:



Summary Report Consultation on Changing Supports in Ontario For People who have a Developmental Disability
In September 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services began a process of consultation towards "transforming" the system of supports for people with a developmental disability in Ontario. We have posted links to many previous documents. This one, by Mercer Delta Consulting, summarizes points made by about 1000 people who took part in discussions and/or submitted their comments online or on paper. Click on the title above to read the basic report. Or click on this link to download a plain language version.

Important New Releases from the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario

IFCO is pressing purposefully to persuade the Ontario Government to move ahead in implementing the new directions announced by MCSS in Opportunities and Action – Transforming Supports In Ontario for People who have a Developmental Disability 

Rationale for Independent Planning and Facilitation: Why MCSS Should Move Quickly
Nine rationales for independent planning and facilitation which will help build a sustainable, innovative, cost effective direct individualized funding program.  With this document, IFCO calls on MCSS to move ahead with independent planning and facilitation as a vital infrastructure to ensure the success of direct funding.

EXTRA!!! Common Vision EXTRA!!! A news summary with excerpts from interviews with leaders in the social change movement.

Investments That Will Make a Difference
learly explains the important considerations for investing taxpayer dollars in Direct Individualized Funding and Independent Planning and Facilitation.

IFCO issues are vital for Ontario. Look up the many current resources on the IFCO website


Disability advocates are very upset to learn that the Ontario Government (through the Ministries of Community and Social Services and Health and Long-Term Care) has made plans for adults with a developmental disability and relatively high needs to be admitted to long-term care facilities instead of opening community living opportunities for them. Advocates of inclusion and community living see a discrepancy between this new "access protocol" and the values and strategies discussed in the MCSS "transformation process" for developmental services since mid-2004.
Read the Ministries' Access Protocol (July 2006)
Read a letter of serious concerns by Shelley Martel MPP
Read Doublespeak, a critique by Dr Patricia Spindel
From Family Alliance Ontario…No to ALL institutions!



Public consultation on a proposed mental health commission and federal priorities on mental health and mental illness

Respond to an online survey of Questions on the Government of Canada’s Priorities in Mental Health and Mental Illness at the following link:






Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)

Public Policy Update – Disability Savings Plan (January 2007)

PLAN has affiliated organizations in various Canadian cities and regions.

See for example

Families Matter Co-operative of Ottawa


Spark of Brilliance based in Guelph

Join its mailing list to receive richly varied details of creative opportunities for self-expression through the arts. Check out the new newsletter "SparkPlug"



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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