22 March 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



"Presuming Intellect: Ten Ways to Enrich Our Relationships Through a Belief in Competence"
William Stillman, author of Autism and the God Connection, offers ten ways for us all to support people who do not speak and may otherwise be neurologically compromised in an unconventional manner with regard to communication, motor-planning capabilities, and sensory sensitivities. Please
note that this PDF document is copyright and visit Bill’s website.
William Stillman
Autism Spectrum Self-Advocate, Author, and Consultant

Autism: It's Not Just in the Head
The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain. By Jill Neimark for Discover Magazine. This report comes from Discover Magazine, April 2007 edition, now on the news stands. It is not available yet online. To learn more about magazine's availability, please click on title.

Spark Plug: Spark of Brilliance Newsletter
Read recently posted articles on:
Art & Healing

The Happy Neurotic
Sometimes You have to Laugh!
The Top 200 Secrets of Success and the Pillars of Self-Mastery
Life Lessons Surround Us
ATC Flyer for Art Schmoozefest
About Mental Illness
The Power of Healing Art
What do All of These Famous People Have in Common?

Facilitating Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities

An article that describes a community capacity-building (CCB) approach to assisting transition to adulthood for families and youth with developmental disabilities. A pilot project using this approach in one community in Ontario is described with “lessons learned” for future projects.
Wynn, K., Stewart, D., Law, M., Burke-Gaffney, J., & Moning, T. (2006). Creating connections: A community capacity-building project with parents and youth with disabilities in transition to adulthood. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics , 26, 89-103. Published by The Haworth Press, Inc.
Link to text of paper in pdf



The Governments of Canada and Ontario both produced budgets in the past week.

1. The federal budget included several new items to help persons with disabilities, including
--WITB Supplement for Persons With Disabilities

--Registered Disability Savings Plan
Please click to read the details

But the federal Conservatives are criticized for not following through with any funding for a national autism strategy, which was supported by the House of Commons' vote last December. Motion M-172 required the federal government to work in cooperation with the provinces and territories to establish national standards for treatment and delivery of services, study funding arrangements, create a national surveillance program, and provide more funding for health research on autism. Click to read a release by Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore) who introduced the original private member's bill. 

2. Ontario Disability Support Plan payments will increase by 2 per cent, the first increase for four years.

"Special Needs" Planning Group offers Tax Tips - 2006 Taxation Year

Graeme Treeby of The Special Needs Planning Group has teamed up with Doug Cronin C.G.A., Community Living York South and The Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy to prepare and distribute a free tax information guide for people with disabilities and their families. The purpose of this guide is threefold:
1. To introduce people to the Disability Amount, Caregiver Amount and the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate used to secure them. 
2. To share a FREE Process to Get Back Taxes That Should Never Have Paid in the first place and that people can now get back through the FREE Re-File Program.
3. To highlight many of the Tax Deductions, Credits and Benefits that are available to people with disabilities and their families.
Click on title to read whole guide.

Helping Ontario's most vulnerable
An article in the Toronto Star (16 March 2007), that concludes: "Not so long ago, people with intellectual disabilities were hidden behind the walls of institutions. Today, thanks to serious flaws in the system, the situation is really no better. We need to, and can, do much better than that. The opportunity is here, and the time is now."



March 23 – 25, 2007, in Toronto

ICE Canada Conference
Independence, Community and Empowerment: The Art of Managing Change
The only event of its kind in Canada, created by and for individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and their families, to share ideas, learn from each other, and create new friendships.
Sponsored by the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy (OFCP). For more information please click on title.

March 27, 7-9pm, in Waterloo

Amy Baskin on Keeping Strong, Sane and Connected
Amy is co-author of More than a Mom: Living a full and balanced life when your child has special needs (2006).
KidsAbility-Waterloo site
Attendance free but pre-registration required because of limited seating.
Click on title for full details

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

Thursday March 29, 2007, 1-3 pm, in Toronto
Seminar Series on Community Based Research
Audrey King, Hazel Self and Karen Yoshida on
Consumer Participation: The Value of Relationship in Teaching and Research
Location: School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, 99 Gerrard St. E,5th floor, SHE 560
Click on series title for more.  To Register:  e-mail
This FREE seminar series is for you if you believe in the value of collaborative research and want to learn more from people doing it.  You will find this seminar of value if you are interested in:

  • learning from others who have worked to develop a genuine partnership between academia and community
  • are interested in learning more about ways that consumers/people with disabilities can collaborate with educators and researchers

Tuesday, April 3, 2007, 5-8 pm, at St Mary's High School, Kitchener
Community Connections in Waterloo Region
Information for persons with disabilities, families, professionals and caregivers.
Announcement also includes links for online guide to resources.

April 10, 7-9pm, in Guelph
Amy Baskin on Keeping Strong, Sane and Connected
Amy is co-author of More than a Mom: Living a full and balanced life when your child has special needs (2006).

KidsAbility sponsored--at Ignatius-Orchard Park
Attendance free but pre-registration required because of limited seating.

April 14, 2007, 9:30am to noon, in Kitchener
Wills, Henson Trusts, Power of Attorney
Offered by Planned Lifetime Networks
Click on title for full details

April 21, 2007,  9:30am to noon, in Kitchener
Capacity, Guardianship and Decision Making
Offered by Planned Lifetime Networks
Click on title for more details

April 25, at 7pm, in Kitchener
Magnificent Moms: Amy Baskin on Keeping Strong, Sane and Connected

Kitchener Public Library
Please click on title for more

Saturday April 28, 2007
, 9:30 am–3:45 pm
Family Alliance Ontario Annual Conference 
Organizing Differently:  Circles and Not-for-profit Societies       
Location: McMaster University
Keynote Speaker: Susannah Joyce
Morning Presentation: "The Potential of Relationship: 3 Working Circles explain why they place their hope in people and why a circle of support is a good way to hold people together."
Afternoon Presentation: “Andrew’s Aroha” by the Bloomfield family of Guelph.
Andrew's Aroha is a legally incorporated entity (microboard) to flow individualized funds to and sustain high quality of life of persons with disabilities, supported by their family and friends.

Cost: $30.00 per person/$40.00 per family
To Register: Through Hamilton Family Network (details to follow)

Watch the FAO website

May 4-5, 2007, in Mississauga
Connections 2007: Resource Fair for Persons with Disabilities
Click for full details

May 8, 2007, in Oakville
Halton Accessibility Showcase 2007

Resource Fair featuring programs and services for persons with special needs of all ages.
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

June 15 & 16, 2007
2007 Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference
Acceptance and Opportunities: See the Potential

A conference that will explore best practices and approaches for increasing quality of life, opportunities and independence. Save the Date! Friday, June 15 & Saturday, June 16, 2007 Toronto, Ontario
Member and Early Bird Registration discounts are available.
Keep an eye on for more information.



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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