10 May 2007
An electronic bulletin for adults who are vulnerable because of disability
and for their families, friends and supporters who care about them

This bulletin is best read in Mozilla Firefox or Netscape. You may download Mozilla free from

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:

April 18, 2007
April 12, 2007
March 22, 2007
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



Dare to Care
This document, prepared by the Advocacy Committee of the Families Matter Co-operative, details a federal, provincial and territorial strategy for a comprehensive support system for all people with developmental disabilities. Such a strategy would affect municipal governments too. Everyone concerned with and for people who have disabilities, is invited to read the document. If you agree, please contact any organizations to which you belong who might express support to the Families Matter Co-operative by the end of May.
"With the Ontario election scheduled for October, we want to distribute the document to the parties in June. We will then ask them to add the ideas therein to their platforms. We will follow a similar process with other parts of Canada with "Champions " leading the way there."
Visit the Families Matter website at where the email contact is  and the phone number 613 836-3782

As we try to make our communities more aware and to convince governments of the needs and abilities of adults with autism, we might consider two statements drawn up more than 15 years ago. How far have we got in agreeing and acting on these values?

Beyond Programs: a parable

  • In the beginning, there was placement, and lo we were happy when it happened, as placement was not mandated for adults who experience severe disabilities. And so, we said, this is good.
  • And placements multiplied and filled the earth.
  • And then we said, let us make programs, which focus on serving clients. And clients were defined and labeled, and grouped according to their labels. And programs created services for each label, and agencies developed unit costs for each service. And programs prospered and multiplied, and we said, this is very good.
  • And as programs multiplied, a cry arose: Let us evaluate these programs to see how good they really are.
  • And program evaluation, regulations, quality assurance compliance plans and other program measures were created. And they multiplied and filled volumes.
And in those times, a person arose who was a client and who was also a prophet, and said:
Ø      "I don’t want to be a client. I want to be a person.
Ø      I don’t want a label. I want a name.
Ø      I don’t want services. I want support and help.
Ø      I don’t want residential placement. I want a home.
Ø      I don’t want a day program. I want to do meaningful productive things.
Ø     I don’t want to be "programmed" all my life. I want to learn to do the things I like, and go places which I like.
Ø     I want to have fun, to enjoy life and have friends.
Ø      I want the same opportunities as all of you: I want to be happy."
  • And there was a long silence. And lo, everyone realized that they must look beyond their programs.
  • But they were troubled and they asked: "How can we do this? Would not each person need his own unique program and system of support and his own individual measure of quality?"
  • And the prophet replied: "Even as you say, so shall it be done—just as you do for yourselves."

-Michael McCarthy; reproduced from Contact, Sept/Oct 1991.



Supreme Court halts parents' autism funding appeal
The Supreme Court will not hear arguments on the matter of who should pay for costly specialized treatment for autistic children in Ontario. The court's decision halts the lengthy legal challenge of 28 Ontario families with autistic children who argued the province was discriminating against autistic children and should pay for intensive behavioural intervention therapy (IBI), as well as provide it in schools. The families initially won a court ruling over government financing for the therapy, but the decision was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2006.
Click on title for one of many news stories.

MCSS Spotlight on Transformation Bulletin, April 2007
The second Developmental Services Bulletin from the Ontario Ministry, that mentions various initiatives in the process of transforming developmental services in Ontario. Click on title to read the bulletin and reach links.

·        Important policy changes made to the Special Services at Home (SSAH) program in 2005 to expand eligibility for SSAH and to create a more flexible program that gives people more choice in how services are delivered.

·        The launch of the Ontario Developmental Services Career Connections Grant in 2005 to enhance opportunities for students to develop the clinical and research skills they need to be professionals in the field of DS in Ontario.

·        The launch of the Passport Mentoring Initiative in March 2006, which has sparked overwhelming interest.  This initiative exposes secondary students to post-school experiences and helps them explore their community so they can make informed decisions about what they might like to do when they leave school.

·        The establishment of four regional Community Networks of Specialized Care in March 2006 across Ontario.  These networks connect the specialized services system, thereby better coordinating resources, increasing the range and availability of specialized supports and building expertise and community capacity through joint research, training and education initiatives.

·        Opportunities and Action, a consultation paper that outlined a new vision for supports for people with a developmental disability and invited input from individuals, families and organizations was released in May 2006. 

·        An Expert Panel on Eligibility for Developmental Services convened and met over the summer and fall of 2006 to advise on the eligibility criteria that would define more clearly who has a developmental disability and is eligible to apply for ministry-funded supports and services.

·        Since Opportunities and Action was released, amongst other projects, the ministry has been working with self-advocates, families, community agencies and associations to design a consistent and streamlined process to apply for DS and supports.  A new application package has now been tested.

Family Alliance Ontario

Become a member for $25/year.
Barbara Ostroff writes: "All funds that support our work come from our membership drive.
We are a very ‘lean' organization. No staff. A Board of 13 people from across the province dedicated to supporting families and improving the lives of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. And an extended community reach through the 18 local family networks that are affiliated with us and share our goals.
"Our work is all done by volunteers, including  
 * the provincial and local advocacy we engage in to support the transformation of the developmental services system,
 * the parent to parent support and networking the Alliance and our local networks initiate
 * the planning and delivery of our annual conference
 * the writing and editing of our newsletter, The Compass
 * the thousands of discussions, meetings and committees our members are involved in to promote the real participation of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors
* our efforts to promote systemic change in communities so that families don’t get worn out fighting one battle at a time
* our work with other groups who share our goals and values to achieve specific changes in the kind of supports available
    to people with disabilities
* our efforts in the last three years to raise the profile/voice of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and
     neighbors in post secondary settings
* our work to facilitate the increased involvement of families and people with disabilities in research."

Please click here for membership form
Learn more at the FAO website



Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board 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
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments

Spark of Brilliance Spring and Summer Schedule
Click for details of various events in Guelph, Fergus, Elora, Orangeville
devoted to "recovery through the arts."
Read Spark Plug, the Spark of Brilliance newsletter in which content is being added continuously.

Tuesday evenings from May 8 to May 29, in Toronto
A Series of Four Gatherings about:
Parents, Priorities and Planning:
Better Futures for High School Students with Disabilities Through Inclusion
With Marilyn Dolmage
Click here for flyer

June 2 (all day) and four June Tuesday evenings, in Oshawa
The Heart of the Matter:
Compassionate Practices in Caring Relationships

An introductory seminar series with Felicia Jervis
Click for brochure



May 14-15, 2007, in Ottawa

Fourth International Conference on Social Role Valorization:
Crafting Valued Social Roles

Click for conference information
Click for registration details

Wednesday, May 23 from 12:00-1:00 (PST)
To help you in planning a safe and secure future for your relative,
PLAN offers a variety of seminars and workshops on topics of interest to families.

Planning to Secure a Good Life NEW! TELELEARNING!
Planning for the future changes the present. Your relative with a disability may need your assistance to secure the foundations of a ‘good life’. Join us for a 1-hour tele-learning conversation that will explore the various aspects of a good life: loving relationships, financial security, safe and secure housing, a caring network of friends and family, and the opportunity to contribute to society. During this interactive session, we will discuss the importance of having a vision for a good life and the specific steps needed to achieve it. This workshop is available from anywhere by telephone. Registration includes a copy of the bestseller, A Good Life (value: $39.95).
Cost: $30.00
Registration is required. For more information or to register by phone: call the PLAN office at: 604.439.9566 or by email: To register online click here
Visit PLAN's website

May 24, 6:30-8:30 pm, in Guelph
Community Mental Health Clinic & Family Counselling & Support Services present
Parents are People Too (Spring Series/07)
THERE’S A STORM UP AHEAD--anger and how to manage it
Pre-registration needed: 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

Saturday May 26, 2007
Stand Up For Mental Health - with "The Happy Neurotic" David Granier, and the Spark of Brilliance Comedy Players, will appear at The Guelph Youth Music Centre, in Guelph.
YOU WILL LAUGH, CRY, AND LEARN that folks with mental health issues
can become talented stand up comics with an important message! 
Please share the attached flyer with your friends, family and colleagues.
This is an event not to be missed! 
If you did not have the opportunity to purchase David's book "The Happy Neurotic" at the Bookshelf launch of Stand Up For Mental Health in March, there will be copies for sale!

May 31, 6:30-8:30pm, in Guelph
Community Mental Health Clinic & Family Counselling & Support Services present
Parents are People Too (Spring Series/07)
Pre-registration needed: Click for full details

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.

June 18, 6:30-8:30pm, in Guelph
Community Mental Health Clinic & Family Counselling & Support Services present

Parents are People Too (Spring Series/07)
RESPITE OPTIONS for families in Guelph & Wellington County
Pre-registration needed: Click for full details

Toronto Summer Institute - July 7-12, 2007
Toronto Summer Institute on Inclusion, Community and Diversity is filling quickly. You would be joining a diverse international collaboration including people from Australia, New Zealand, a team from the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, England, United States and Canada (so far). We have younger people, and some of us, not so young except in spirit. Tom Kohler from Savannah, who will be there this year, says he's just coming to think. You could join him. Whatever your approach to learning, you will be included - but first, you have to 'show up.Click for more...


Looking 2008

May 27-29, 2008, in Detroit
“Everyday Freedoms”
International Conference of Center for Self-Determination
”Cutting Edge in a City with an Edge”
Detroit Marriott, Renaissance Center, Detroit, USA
Conference Highlights:
§                            Discussions about meaningful lives, real freedom,
§                            Community membership, income asset & development
§                            Aging with dignity & freedom
§                            Recovery in the context of self-determination
§                            Families truly supported to best assist in developing self-determined lives
§                            International perspectives on these issues as well as discussions of what system change requirements are needed: what works and what interferes
For more information, please visit
Catch up on the latest Center news with the May 2007 e-newletter.



PLAN's Ezine for Spring 2007
Top story:
Canada Becomes the First Country to Create a Disability Savings Plan

Rebecca Beayni announces her new website
Rebecca's website will be officially launched on June 7, 2007. People can then reach it at
The main purpose of Rebecca's website is to help people see the world through a different lens.  One way of doing that is to promote her video, "Revel in the Light" which can be ordered on the site.  In order to get the word around and encoruage some discussion on some very important values, like-minded people and/or organizations are encouraged to have a link to Rebecca's website on their own.



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

{return to the OAARSN Bulletin Board}