30 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


(since our last bulletin)

17 February 2007, all day, in Brantford
Working Together Symposium
Keynote speaker: Dr Duncan McKinlay on
"Leaky Brakes: what they are and they aren't"

For partners, guardians, educators and service providers
Click on title for more and how to register
(very good value at only $10!)

18 February 2007, all day, in Guelph
Reflecting on Support Workers
Through story telling and dialogue, Judith McGill will help you reflect on how to
get the most out of your Support Worker and how to build a supportive context for their work.
In the Family Leadership Series of Families for a Secure Future
Click on the title for more and how to register.

25 February 2007, all day, in Durham Region
Reflecting on Support Workers
Through story telling and dialogue, Judith McGill will help you reflect on how to
get the most out of your Support Worker and how to build a supportive context for their work.
In the Family Leadership Series of Families for a Secure Future
Click on the title for more and how to register.

March 29, 2007, in London UK

Mental Health and People with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Over recent years there has been a growing interest in autistic spectrum disorders. This conference will concentrate on the mental health issues, an area that is often neglected in other conferences. The day will offer an opportunity to hear from a number of experts in the field and will provide plenty of time for discussion.
People with autistic spectrum disorders are vulnerable to developing mental health problems and the conference will explore issues of assessment, intervention and service delivery. People with autistic spectrum disorders span the range of intellectual functioning and some groups may fall between services, the issue will also be discussed.
Click on title for details

March 29 & 30, 2007, in Ottawa
Autism Awareness Centre Inc. presents two workshops
CAROL KRANOWITZ: Functional Fun for the Out-of-Sync Child
KARI DUNN BURON: Understanding Social Cognition and Its Impact On Autism Spectrum Disorders
Click for full information and how to register
Visit the AAC website


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:



One-page backgrounder on proposed Canadian Mental Health Commission

The public consultation process on this subject, announced in earlier bulletins, has now closed.





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

Read @philia: January 2007 Issue
Includes the ethics of the "Ashley Treatment" and Compassionate Listening.

Spark of Brilliance based in Guelph

Join its mailing list to receive richly varied details of creative opportunities for healing and recovery 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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